Last week we addressed the listening part of the overall communication process. Now we will explore a few of the many facets of the sending end of a message.
As a message sender it is important that you consider a few specific things as you prepare your message. Take a look:
Think before you speak. Determine what you want to say and how you will articulate the message based on the receiver. For example, you may not use the same words necessarily with a child that you would with an adult.
Consider the amount of words you need to formulate your message.
When too many details are given you may lose the attention of the listener. For example, “When I went to the store Saturday I ran into an old friend from high school. We were on the same cheerleading squad for several years and we both had a crush on the same football player in 10th grade. Anyway, she was with her kids who were not very well behaved. She should have just taken them home and let them take a nap but she didn’t. She just stood there trying to tell me all about her new, exciting job while stopping every few minutes to yell at her kids as they ran up and down the isles yelling and screaming. One customer actually told her to get her kids under control but she just sneered at him and told him to mind his own business. I tried to give her a few tips to get them under control but she just ignored the fact that I was even speaking and continued talking about her job. I finally got so frustrated with the whole scene that I made up some kind of an excuse and left.”
If you desire dialogue you may want to consider sending only the bottom line at first. For example, “I ran into a classmate the other day who had such undisciplined children that we were unable to have a conversation.”
Communicate the answer rather than the problem. Look at a few examples:
- “It is too cold in here.” or “I need to turn the heat up.”
- “Nobody helps with the dishes.” or “We will start taking turns doing the dishes.”
- “You are staying up too late.” or “9 o’clock is bedtime from now on.
Pay attention to your tone and body language so they will add up to be the actual message you want to communicate.
These are several other dynamics to consider when sending a message. Check out my book, “Character Blocks” for more information on this subject. You can order your copy through this website.