April 6, 2014

What We Say vs How We Say It

We often hear that it is not only what we say but how we say it that means the most. Our methods of delivery are many times more impactful than what we say. While our words may touch others in such great ways, the manner in which we speak those words may be the most touching part of the moment that others will remember.

Think about something that anyone has said to you lately about how you do whatever you do in your business. Maybe they discussed how you market, how you network, or how you answer the telephone. First there is what they said to you, but there is also how they said it. Did they make subtle suggestions, or did they preach to you, telling you that you were all wrong? Did they encourage you or tear you down?

What someone says has a lot to do with how their words are perceived by the person receiving the information. How the words may be delivered have a great influence with the reaction of the receiving party. Being open to criticism does not mean that we are open to punishment and abuse. Our open minds close tight when we are threatened.

We are more prone to accept criticism from someone who delivers the advice with kindness and encouragement in a softer tone, in a non-threating manner. We do not accept criticism from anyone who shouts, gets in our faces physically, or who makes us believe that we are stupid and unable to perceive that they know everything.

Operating any business is difficult and has many pitfalls. We must not commit the mistakes of our messages being distorted by the manner in which we deliver them. We should understand that the vast majority of our prospects, as well as our clients, do not want our message delivered as an attack on their ability to make up their own minds.

Facts should be delivered as information on which to base decisions, not pounded into the brains of the receiving party, who is reminded that they cannot make intelligent decisions on their own. Information should be offered to others for their use, not poured over the heads of the public like a deluge of rain. There are times when we should just shut up and let the others to whom we are speaking think for themselves.

The tone of our voice, the volume of our voice, the firmness of our voice, all these factors can make or break our message. Do you deliver information as something that the other person can use to make intelligent decisions, in a soft, professional voice? Do you offer suggestions and alternatives to the person who seeks your advice; do you preach to others that only you can know what is best for them?

Our messages to others are very important to both us and the person to whom we are speaking. They must contain honest, ethical, and complete content that we believe is best for the person that is listening to us. They have honored us with their reception of our words. We must commit to delivering those messages in a professional manner.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Remember that the person to whom you are speaking is a human being, their feelings are no different than yours are, and they deserve your message to be delivered in a professional, supportive, encouraging manner. After all, they are your networking partner with whom you have a relationship for the mutual good.

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