Are your Ums, I thinks, Ya Knows, I Go, and Sos A Distraction?
The short answer is YES!!!
Communication has both an art and a science to it. The Goal of Communication? To be understood.
There is the art of speaking clearly, confidently and competently, and the science of the listening and speaking process. Put the two together and there is ample room for miscommunication, distractions, and lack of understanding. Communication, although something we do all day long, is one of the most challenging skills.
When you are :in your head" and/or nervous there is a tendency to fill space and time with Um's, Ya Know, So, Like, I Thinks... to name a few. Often people combine these phrases.... "Um....Well Ya Know... Like...." The challenge is that the listener often focuses on these fillers instead of the true content. These when repeated are a definite distraction in communication, and perhaps even frustration.
Remember... slowing down, and silence are okay!
Here are a few tips to remove distractions from communication.:
- Choose your words (including the fillers), once they are out there - they are out there.
- When you are in your head (and notice the filler words coming out), simply breathe, slow down and when the urge to say Um, Ah, Like, Ya Know, So, etc arises smile and breathe.
- Prepare your words. Practice your words.
- Remove other distractions (e.g. technology) as sometimes these filler words are used to buy time while you are remembering what the person just said before you got distracted.