This pie chart was created by deliacency.com in an article entitled “10 things You Should Do Before Jumping on Camera” with effective communication.
I am not shocked at all.
I am a person who always say, it’s not what you say but how you say it that matters. Now don’t get me wrong, what you say is important, but the tone in which you say, your attitude in how you say, and your body language plays a huge part. Personally, I can hear what you say, but if you do not say it in a receivable tone and demeanor, it would be harder for me to digest than it would otherwise.
This is why in Colossians 4:6 it says totally about “seasoning our speech with grace”. I love all versions of this verse, but this one really stood out to me:
“Everything you say should be kind and well thought out so that you know how to answer everyone.” GW translation
The key words are “kind” and “well thought out”.
Kind, used as an adjective, means “having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature, affectionate, loving”. The phrase “well thought out” – well self explains – that we shouldn’t say the first thing that comes to mind and think through what we will say to someone, being considerate of their feelings, wise but truthful.
I am in a profession where I talk to different kinds of people, daily. Either on the phone, or in person, I am in constant communication with my fellow colleagues and students, answering their questions and giving them advice on what they need to do. One thing I carried over from my previous employment is to always smile – on the phone, or especially in person. It truly makes a difference in setting the tone of the conversation. I have had plenty of students to call in with one attitude, and because I set the tone of the conversation, the attitude completely turned around. Their apprehension and uncertainty also was diminished, even if I couldn’t help them.
Most times, I would be called sweet, helpful and kind by the end of the phone conversation just of the way I spoke to them. Sometimes what I said was not what they wanted to hear, but the way I said it made them understand a bit more clearer of our processes. Even though I have more knowledge of a particular area than they do, I don’t make them feel like they are a bother and I don’t demean them in anyway.
An example, to communicate “You can’t drop that class because drop period ended” – I would say “Well, because we are about a week late to substitute any class, you are still able to withdraw with a small penalty if that interest you any?” I said the same thing. More words – yes. Softened the blow – also yes.
Things that help me:
- Putting myself in their shoes, or a similar situation I was in that can make me relate to them and how I would want to be treated
- Without being fake, lighten the tone of my voice making it more cheerful
- Always smile
- Letting them know I care by listening fully, nodding my head in total understanding, and making sure I say phrases like, “I understand” “I am very sorry to hear that” “sure” “you’re welcome” “thank you” “nice” “Well the good news is … the bad news is…”
- Always making eye contact is always a good way to show someone I am fully listening to them and hearing what they are saying
- Making myself relatable by making light of the situation, sharing some of my own mistakes and aggravations too and laughing them off
- Being apologetic about anything they do not wish to hear
- Ending the conversation with a hug, a laugh, a comforting rub, “alright girl” “alright, take it easy”
No, this isn’t the ultimate answer on how you say things but it’s something I use every day to make their part of the day with me pleasurable and enjoyable. I’ve noticed as well, it loosens them up to become more relaxed and trusting when they are talking to me – instead of being uptight.
There are some people that would call themselves blunt, and don’t beat around the bush when they have to communicate things. But the bible calls our speech to be kind and wise. Proverbs 29:11 says “A fool gives vent to all his feelings, but the wise, thinking of afterwards, stills them.” It’s something to think about when we are in communication with others.