Use Your Entire Communication
Good and effective communication is an essential tool for enhancing individual and collective performance and well-being.
It also provides the basis for positive cooperation and strong, lasting relationships.
We work to develop and strengthen all aspects of your communication – with other people and yourself, and through verbal and non-verbal behaviour.
As elaborated below, we actually communicate all the time – in one way or another.
And why, how, and what we communicate greatly affects how we think, feel, and interact with others and with ourselves – and what response we get.
In the strict sense, communication means echanging ideas, thoughts, feelings, or information between two or more people – through words, spoken and written, also called verbal language.
In this sense, effective communication is about being able to so in a way that allows you to understand and be understood by others. E.g. because you are good at speaking or writing clearly and simply.
However, words are only a minor part of our total communication with other people. And we communicate with ourselves too – through our thoughts, feelings and inner voice, and through our body language.
According to psychology surveys of personal communication, when people transmit information, words only account for about 7%. The remaining 93% are about non-verbal communication. Tone of voice accounts for 38% and body language – for 55%.
A lot of our communication occurs through non-verbal means – including body language and silence. In fact, silence can sometimes do better than words in conveying information – though not always the intended one.
Examples of body language include facial expressions, head and eye movements, eye contact – or lack of same, tone of voice, touch, whole body movement and posture, space, clothing, and timing.
You can use it to reinforce or emphasize what you are saying to others, because your body language offers information about your thoughts, emotions, and attitudes.
However, your body language may also conflict with what you are saing, intentionally or unintentionally. And such inconsistencies or misalignments can easily cause others to misread and misinterpret you – and you to feel misunderstood by others.
You can also use your body language to reinforce or emphasize a desired mental and emotional state. For instance, certain body postures can help you feel calm and confident and perform better, when under pressure and stress – just like certain other body postures can do the opposite.
Your behaviour and actions – or lack thereof – are also non-verbal communication. For instance, if you do not pay attention, when someone is talking to you, and because you feel busy, you may be perceived as impolite without intending to be so.
You may also come across as being impolite by arriving late for a meeting and not informing the person waiting on your delay.
Research indicates that people, on average, talk to themselves at a rate of between 300 and 1,000 words per minute.
Benefits of Effective Communication
A holistic approach and understanding of your communication with others and yourself, can help you:
- Become more mentally aware and observant of your surroundings and senses.
- Become better at exchanging knowledge and getting your point across.
- Better understand the emotions and intentions behind the information.
- Listen in a way that gains the full meaning of what’s being said.
- Improve your understanding of other people and their emotions.
- Positively influence how other people see and understand you.
- Build greater trust, and deepen your connections to others and yourself.
- Improve teamwork, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
- Avoid and better handle misunderstandings and frustrations.
- Better motivate, encourage, and support yourself and others.
- Listen in a way that makes the other person feel heard and understood.
- Improve your overall social, mental and emotional well-being.
- Boost your energy, and self-confidence, and relieve stress.
Different Communication Styles
It is easy to appreciate that effective communication is fundamental to developing and maintaining high performing teams and individuals, and strong, lasting relationships.
However, it can be much more difficult to make it happen. Because people are different, and they communicate in different ways.
For example, individuals communicate differently depending on how, when, and where they are born and brought up, and which values, customs, and role patterns they are taught during life.
Communication Style Assessment (Puzzle DISC)
We use a practical, well-proven self-assessment tool – called Puzzle DISC – to help you understand your own and others’ communication styles – and thus improve your ability to communicate, connect and interact effectively.
Puzzle DISC is a further development of the acknowledged and well-documented DISC model. The DISC assessment comes in three versions. They measure your preferred communication behavioural style, your leadership behavioural style, or your sales profile style, respectively.
We combine Puzzle DISC with a motivational self-assessment – called Driving Forces – to help you clarify why you prefer a certain behavioural style – and what motivates you in general. Combined together, they are called a “combination assessment”.
Puzzle DISC is a model for understanding and describing human behaviour. And it is a tool for adjusting and stimulating certain behaviours to obtain better results. It is NOT a test. And it does NOT measure your personality, or who you are.
The DISC assessment only measures how you are likely to behave as you respond to your environment. And there is no right or wrong behaviour. There are only different expressions and different combinations of human behaviour.
More specifically, DISC measures how you respond to your environment in respect of: Difficulties and challenges – Conveying thoughts and ideas to others – Speed and change – Rules and routines. And it distinguishes four behavioural styles: Dominance, Influence, Stability and Compliance.