Roundtable Highlights: Effective Communication - Dealing with Emotion

Have you ever had a disagreement with someone and felt as if you weren’t able to get your point across?

Poor communication is a common cause of conflict in the workplace. Communication starts with listening. When a tree gets struck by lightning in the uninhabited forest, is there sound? Communication without listening works similarly. It's just noise.

Communication can be more than words. The clothes that you wear, the expression on your face, the way you carry yourself when you walk all are forms of communication.

When talking or writing, sometimes you have to recalibrate to avoid a negative situation. We discussed the following tips to be an effective communicator:

  1. Be aware of your audience.
  2. Watch reactions from listeners.
  3. Look for common ground.
  4. Data helps clean up discussion.

EDUCauseReview recently shared an article on Leveraging Emotional Intelligence in Communication and in the excerpt below state that having empathy towards others can have a tremendous impact on how we communicate in all situations.

“Empathy requires first of all that we comprehend the circumstances of someone else and second that we understand the feelings that those circumstances may provoke in that person.

For example, your supervisor might seem upset with you for no reason. Think about what they might be dealing with. Consider any situations that may be affecting their emotions and how that might in turn affect what they say to you. In the same vein, managers and leaders who are high in empathy skills are able to pick up emotional cues. They can appreciate not only what a person is saying but also why they are saying it.

Learn to engage others—even in difficult situations—by asking empathetic questions such as these:

"Can you say more about that?"

"Really? That's interesting. Can you be more specific?"

"I wasn't aware of that. Tell me more."

"I'm curious about that…let's discuss this in more depth."

"Can you tell me if I understand you correctly? Here is what I heard you say…"

"How do you feel about that? What are some of your concerns?"

Finally, the roundtable discussed suggested tools that can help provide structure and clear communications including the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating Systems) and "Traction Tools for EOS". 

Overall the breakfast roundtable provides a wonderful venue to review today’s top business challenges with peers.

In December we will have two Breakfast Roundtables per below:

  1. 12/4 Roundtable will be on the topic of Sustainability with special guest speaker, Randy Bertram, Director Sustainability and Operational Excellence Services and Sr. Consultant with WMEP.
  2. 12/11 Roundtable we will share best practices how best to "MANAGE UP" when it comes to your boss.

We hope to see you at a future roundtable always posted on our website at: ast_Roundtables.