Communication is like mixing chemicals. Sometimes it creates exciting discoveries, and sometimes it just blows up!
The chemistry class at my high school was pretty cool. Marble counters, Bunsen burners, microscopes, Petri dishes. But the most important piece of equipment in any chem lab was the goggles.
Unfortunately, we don’t have goggles to protect us from the mess our communication can cause BUT we do have other ways to protect ourselves using the Chemistry of Communication.
Imagine a communication as an empty test tube. Each person pours his or her mix of elements in. Sometimes those elements blend and we get a discovery like penicillin, a terrific marketing strategy, or the iPhone. Other times, a particular element hits the tube and the contents smoke, bubble, or explode. Why does that happen?
To master the Chemistry of Communication you need to:
- Recognize the goal of the communication.
- Know the qualities of others involved.
- Know to mix in just the right concentration of your element.
Often communication messes can be avoided by steering clear of the following habits:
- Failure to take the temperature: Do you walk into a conversation without taking the temperature of the room? Are people tired, hungry, ready for a break, busy with something else, or emotionally triggered by a situation or event? No matter how fabulous you think your contribution is, if people aren’t ready to hear it, things can blow up.
- Failure to Dilute: Are you coming on too strong or over-sharing, saying more than people want to or need to hear? Dumping too much data on someone is like overfilling the test tube. All of the elements spill out, and the solution is rendered useless.
- Over Diluting: Are you not assertive or are you passive aggressively withholding your opinion? Do you struggle to get to the point or clarify your message? Just remember, you might be just the element a particular formula needs. Don’t weaken your contribution.
Keep these tips in mind and contact me if you want a complementary discovery phone call with me to find out how to work on your communication chemistry.