Since working for myself I have really struggled to put into words the things that I need when I have sought out some extra help from a third party. I know what I need to do to get the job done but there are no mind readers out there? So, I just have to work that little bit harder to be very clear about what it is I need.
Two of the biggest things I am guilty of when communicating with people is assuming that; they know more than they actually do; and that they can read my mind.
How often have you been guilty of making these assumptions?
The easiest ways to avoid confusion and provide clarity are to:
- Never make assumptions of people’s knowledge. Have open discussions about what it is they already know and what they need to know.
- Never think a person can read your mind (as great as it would be if they could). You need to ensure that you communicate clearly all the information that is needed and be direct with your requests (bearing in mind, they may need more information than you may need).
The impact of assuming is that it ultimately leads to confusion and things not getting done correctly, if at all.
Another key consideration is how clear you are about your requirements and expectations. I wonder how many people are unclear about their expectations? Lack of clarity around this is especially a trap for women who don’t want to upset other people. An issue many of us face is that we want to come across as “nice” all the time and we can sometimes mistake being direct as being unpleasant.
If your desire is to be “nice” it is not at all about the message you are trying to get across, but the way you communicate it. I truly believe that you can be kind and communicate clearly in business. Here are three things that may help to ensure it works as well as it can:
- Work on the relationship first and foremost, and ensure both understand each other’s intention. Having said that, we all judge the actions of a person rather than the intent, so make sure your actions align to your intent
- Talk about what happens under stress for each of you before a stressful situation arises. Discuss how you will deal with it so that you can very clearly say “I am under a bit of stress at the moment” or, so that you can say “I can see that you are struggling right at the moment, what can I do to help”
- When you make a mistake, admit it, apologise, talk about it and move on
Take time to ensure the person you are communicating with is clear and understands your expectations. Going back to the above, ensure that you do not assume their knowledge or that they can read your mind. Having these discussions in the first instance provides clarity and understanding.
By being clear and direct we ensure that everyone is on the same page and that we are getting the things we need.
So next time you need something, be clear with the person who you need it from around expectations and timelines. Help them out, which in turn helps you out.
If having clear and direct conversations is something that you are struggling with, please get in touch. I offer tailored coaching programs and can help you.
Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic everyday