‘They’ don’t communicate – putting yourself in ‘their’ shoes

This week I have been pondering how best to put the case for communication.

Everyone I speak to seems to agree that ‘good communication’ is very important in business. However, it always seems to be ‘them’ who don’t communicate very well. I don’t think that many people really stop to think about their own communication style and how it might impact on other people.

When I run communications training, I take people through why it’s important to communicate well, what happens when you get it right and what happens when you don’t. I start to see pennies dropping as they think about the impact of communication – just because you meant something a certain way, it doesn’t mean that the person you are talking to or emailing understood it that way.

And that’s when we start thinking about putting ourselves in our audience’s shoes.

I’ve seen some real light-bulb moments at this point. People realising that a failure in communication is a two-way thing, just like successful communication is. Even more satisfying is when they decide to make some changes to their own communication style, making it more flexible and adaptable.

This is when I know that things are going to get better – instead of continuing to bang their heads against that brick wall, now they are going to start looking for the key to open the door in the wall.

There is an NLP presupposition that says ‘the meaning of the communication is in the effect’. This has always struck me as so obvious and yet sometimes so difficult to pull off. If we start to communicate from their perspective instead of our own – what is important to them, what are they really going to ‘hear’ – than our communications can only get better and better.

If you would like some help with understanding the perspectives of your audiences, please get in touch for a no obligation chat.

Until next time


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