Good communication requires a lot of things… listening, planning and preparing, and practice are definitely on the list, among other things. But one of the deceptively important elements of being a good communicator is about “picking the correct moment” carefully. Certain types of messages can be delivered at almost any time. Telling someone something good, or positive, is almost always welcomed.
But sharing something bad, like giving some harsh feedback, is much harder to get right. Finding the correct moment to communicate something negative, requires thought and planning… because if given in an incorrect moment, the situation can become a lot worse. The purpose of the feedback can backfire, the relationship can be injured, the health of the team significantly reduced.
So, having a strong sense of timing, and getting the “when” correct, is critical.
When the health crisis started to gain momentum in March, everyone was suddenly retreating from the office to home, and many were wondering about the status of their children’s’ schooling, or the health of their family, or the security of their job. That was one of those times when we had to be really aware of our surroundings, be sensitive to what might be going on in people’s lives, and communicate carefully and with caution.
After a few months of respite this summer, we are once again heading back into a period when we have to be highly aware and careful in the delivery of our messages. With many of the case numbers going in the wrong direction, and in-person schooling more and more at risk for many districts, timing of difficult conversations will once again be an issue. It is always important to pick our moments correctly; but especially important when pressures are higher.
The point is that being a good communicator always requires listening, planning, practice… and a good sense of timing. Pick your moments carefully when delivering bad news, harsh feedback, or anything negative. The moment chosen will be a critical part of the communication equation for the foreseeable future.
At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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