George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Wow! The nerve of him!

I can’t speak for you, but I have learned that lesson the hard way. Just because you say something doesn’t mean they heard it, believe it or will do it. Here is the reality, gang: people aren’t thinking about you, people are thinking about themselves. It doesn’t matter if it is a group/team meeting or a one-to-one with you; they are preoccupied with their own stuff.

When we communicate, we must never be me-centered, we must always be others-centered. Preparation is first and foremost in communicating. The more you know about
the needs, the pain points, and the gaps that need to be filled, the better equipped you’ll be.

When preparing, be intentional about asking yourself the following three questions:

  • What do I want them to know?
  • What do I want them to feel? Emotions move people to action.
  • What do you want them to do? If they can’t define it, they can’t do it.

Remember, whatever the scenario, you are always leading. If in a team meeting, you are leading a specific purpose, if in a one-to-one coaching conversation, you are leading a desired outcome.

In your next communication opportunity, could you ask yourself the three questions? It will help you stay focused on others.