Monday, October 15, 2012

CLEAN Communication...what you say matters!

After having facilitated thousands of discussions for my clients in conflict, mediating hundreds of cases and speaking to more than 60,000 people around the globe at conferences and events, I have learned a few things about communication.
Much of the conversation we are exposed to through verbal communication, the written word (letters, memos,etc), and technological exchanges (emails and texts) contain one of two common problems... they are unclear or laced with too much drama.

Here is a way to think about communication... CLEAN Communication.

CLEAN communication is credible

CLEAN communication is clear

CLEAN communication is confident

CLEAN communication is congruent
CLEAN communication contains ZERO drama!

This photo was a phone booth around the corner from a hotel I stayed at in Northern Thailand in Chang Mai.  I loved the photo becuase it spoke volumes about how messy, old and historic our conversations can be.  Old drama finds it way into new day communication. The history and past take over, and the conversation feels and sounds messy.....

Here are a few tips to communicate in a CLEAN way...

  1. Prepare for your conversations. Ensure you have practised what you want to say. Worrying or playing things over silently in your head is not practice... it is worrying.
  2. Imagine being in the other person's shoes.
  3. Plan for what will be difficult to say but important to hear information.
  4. Assume less…understand more

    And.... Apply the CLEAN methods outlined above.
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