In the United States, we hold this belief that as speakers, we have the most critical role in the conversation. In general, we hold people who speak well in high-esteem. Or, perhaps it isn’t people who speak well, but people who can stand on a stage and speak to an audience. We hold this shared belief that speaking and speakers, perhaps know more than us or hold some sort of special status. Speakers may hold specialized knowledge or insight many people can benefit from, the one thing that cannot be overlooked is that good speakers are not in it for themselves. They are in it for the audience.
What does that mean?
The purpose of communication is not to be heard. It is not to share our opinions, beliefs, or insights blindly. The purpose of communication is to create shared meaning with whoever you are speaking with. The objective is for your audience, or even friend, to walk away from your conversation, understanding your message in the way you intended.
Communication is About Us
Excellent speakers, or good communicators, know that when they speak, they are only successful if they are created mutual understanding in their messaging. When we walk away from a meeting, coffee date, negotiation, or even a speech thinking, “I feel heard!” then chances are good, the speaker was speaking to you in a way that created shared meaning. It means each person walked away on the same page, in the same book, feeling confident the other person feels and thinks the same way.
We Communicate To Create Shared Meaning
The purpose of communication, whether you are streaming LIVE on Facebook or Instagram, teaching a workshop, working with a client, or trying to close the door, is creating shared meaning. As a speaker, you want people to understand your message in the way the message makes sense to you and the way you intended the message to be. If there is no shared meaning, there is not great communication.
How Can I Ensure I am Communicating Well?
The best thing you can do to ensure you are creating shared meaning with someone is to ask. Seek feedback, ask if they understand what you meant, explore with clarifying questions. And if they are not getting your message cleanly, think about how you can reword your message.
It isn’t about ‘them’ versus ‘you’ – it is about working together. To learn how you can become a more effective communicator, reach out to the professionals at the Wordwell Group. Schedule a free consultation and learn how you can learn how to speak well, write well, and word well to elevate your relationships, brand, and income.