Why is it so important that we improve how we communicate? Every single day an educator goes to work there is a chance a seed of greatness or a seed of destruction will be planted. When young people are hanging on your every word you see why we need to improve it. After all the heart of communication is the transfer of perspectives, beliefs, and understanding. Each are extremely important. So what is usually the most dominate issue in our classroom communication breakdowns and what can be done to avoid them? Follow me as I highlight three practical components to enhance our communication.
Communicate with Consideration
When you think of your mood and attitude at the end of the school day, it is easy to see how circumstances can impact the way you talk to people. With this understanding in mind, what about the attitude and experiences of the people you are communicating with? Before we speak, we should try to consider the other person’s perspective and way of thinking. To do this requires listening, empathizing, and putting your audience first.
Communicate with Clarity
One of the biggest stumbling blocks in communication is the lack of a clear and understandable message. Our goal should always be to clearly communicate and avoid misunderstanding as much as possible. With his goal in mind, we should always be on the look out for misunderstandings. This is a twofold endeavor. It is just as easy to take something the wrong way as it is to be misunderstood. The problem is it is hard for us to acknowledge it. I would venture to say that most of us may not realize when we have misunderstood someone. If we did we would probably ask more clarifying questions and be slow to make judgement when we are communicating. The key to communicating with clarity lies within the truth. More specifically, speak and seek the truth. Try to always get to the heart of the message, and think it through before you speak. To quote my wife, “Listen to listen; don’t listen to speak”.
Communicate with Character
It takes character to communicate correctly. This is because who we are impacts how people hear what we say. Our character also impacts how we perceive what someone else is saying to us. I previously mentioned our experience impact how we speak, but our character goes deeper. Have you ever noticed some people just have a negative disposition? What about those people who just make you smile when they walk in the room because they are so positive? Have you ever asked yourself why is that so? The answer can be summed up with one word, character. If we improve our character, we will improve our communication with others. This will enable others to hear what we are actively trying communicate instead of being distracted by our character. This will also benefit our communication by allow us to see people in the best light.
In the field of education we shape people’s beliefs and help cultivate new creations. With that kind of influence we can’t afford to settle for clumsy communication. The good news is we only need to make simple efforts to make drastic improvements in our communication. Strive to really consider other’s perspective. Make every effort to seek clarity at all times. Lastly, never overlook the impact of character in your communication. Just remember the 3 C’s of communication and you will be fine.