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**Great Changes #20! COMMUNICATE EVEN BETTER- Part 2
January 11, 2013

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Issue #20: January 11, 2013

Improving Communications Skills - Part 2
(Best New Years Resolution Yet!)

Summary of Part 1: My initial article (part 1) discussed that 1) great communication skills are rare, 2) communication skills are extremely important in all facets of our life, 3) we communicate for a variety of reasons, 4) communication is a skill that can be analyzed and improved upon, 5) there are many important variables that can affect how well one communicates in various situations, and 6) setting a New Years resolution to improve one's communication skills would be a good thing for many people to do.

This article will discuss a few of these variables in some detail, and future articles will discuss many of the others.

1) Communication Goals: We all communicate with purposes (or GOALS) in mind. Normally the goals are to inform, remind or influence people to learn and/or take action either now or later.

Sometimes people say things without thinking that they regret later ("Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure"). This is often because the goals were not well thought out, or not thought about at all before the words were spoken.

Suggestion: Always try to ask yourself before you communicate (or take action): 'What is my goal? What am I trying to accomplish by what I'm about to do? WHY do I want to do this? Is this the right time and place to act?'

2) Communication Planning: Once your goals are well thought out, and are realistic to achieve, you should be ready to do some planning: 1) WHAT you are going to say, 2) HOW you are going to say it, and 3) WHEN and WHERE should you say it.

WHAT TO SAY should be determined by 1) the GOALS/PURPOSES, 2) the IMPORTANCE of the subject 3) WHO you'll be communicating with, 4) your KNOWLEDGE and HISTORY with the other party, and more.

Assuming this is a very important subject that is somewhat complicated, take time to write out your thoughts on paper. Read them over. Consider showing someone you trust and that has good communication skills, what you have come up with. Get feedback, and possibly ask that person to help edit the message.

HOW IT'S COMMUNICATED is often more important than WHAT you actually say. We humans have emotions. Therefore the tone, volume, speed, passion, attitude, etc. that one conveys, may very well make a greater impression than what words were actually spoken. For example, depending on how one says: "Get out of here", it could mean many things from "Leave. I never want to see you again." to "That's really funny!"

WHEN AND WHERE IT'S COMMUNICATED will often impact how the message will be received. Try to pick a time and place where the receiver will be receptive to the message and able to concentrate and focus. Sometimes the communicator just wants to "get it done"; she may not realize/remember that when it's really important that the communication succeeds, picking a bad venue may cause the communication to fail, creating a potential disaster.

The basic goals of communication are to get one's message effectively across to another party. It should encourage them to remember something or do something that will benefit you, them and/or others.

We are all different. Some of us focus more on WHAT is said, while others may only remember how their EMOTIONS felt when the message was conveyed. Therefore, knowing your "audience" should impact one's decisions about what, how and when the message is conveyed. This will be explained more thoroughly later.

Listen to my podcast about this newsletter article (Note: If you can't see the podcast control just below, find the backissues and find this article on my website.)

Issue #20 Podcast: Play/Download Podcast Here

Backissues and Free Personalized Help: To read past articles, go to Business Coaching Newsletter Backissues. Future Articles will continue "dissecting" and analyzing what it takes to become a more effective communicator. I encourage you to communicate with me; please give me feedback on these articles, and suggestions on future articles.

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