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Want to convince, connect and communicate like a boss?

Communication, or as the Oxford Dictionary states the art of “imparting or exchanging information by speaking, writing or using some other medium,” is all around us. People are exchanging data, sharing opinions and revealing information wherever we go. Yet while a lot of what we take in is not much more than distracting white noise received through social osmosis, there are times when the messages being communicated are crucial to the progression of a goal, or the preservation of our own wellbeing. So, how do we learn how to filter out the unnecessary, act on the important and – crucially – communicate key messages in a way that inspires people to listen, engage and respond positively to our input?

The mBraining approach developed by Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka[1] of tapping into all three of our intelligences – head, heart and gut – enables us to process information we receive more thoroughly and, importantly, helps us to communicate with others on a deeper level. Being in touch with all three of our brains allows us to communicate more ‘authentically’, since the contents of and reasons for our messaging have been thoroughly processed by our head, heart and gut. In other words, we can fully understand and believe in the messages we want to relay before we disseminate them.

If we refuse to listen or ignore the messages being communicated by our three brains, this will lead to internal conflict eroding any trust or faith we might have in ourselves, just as an unresponsive or evasive communicator would make his or her listener switch off and grow wary.

Get The Message Across

As business leaders, there will be many times when we need people to really listen to what we tell them; to take in the message and act on it appropriately. The most effective communicators are able to get their message across by placing themselves in the shoes of their audience. What frame of mind are they in? – are they receptive to communicating right now? Most importantly, how can you inspire them to care about what you are trying to achieve and asking for their help to accomplish?

Being clear enough to ensure that your audience interprets what you are saying correctly and engaging enough to inspire action and allegiance to your stated goals is essential. This can be achieved through communicating authentically and in a way that people can engage with. A key part of mBraining is learning how to align our three brains to combine their specialist areas of creativity (head), compassion (heart) and courage (gut) to give a fuller picture of the different responses our thoughts and actions evoke. By doing so, we can train ourselves to respond more positively to a perceived situation and so adjust the style and contents of our communications accordingly.

Improve Communication Skills

No-one likes to be talked ‘at’ – communication is a two-way process that invites involvement from both parties. So, if you are giving a speech or relaying feedback to your team, give them the chance to respond and share their views. Once you have learned how to listen to your three brains and given them all time to respond and align before you communicate, with practice this becomes second nature, and you will come across far more genuinely and authentically. This goes a long way towards helping you to communicate with true authority and in a way that makes people stop and listen.

Conversely, by listening to your head, heart and gut while communicating you will find yourself listening to others in a far more effective way. Practice makes perfect, so the more listening you can do, the better you will become at it. When someone starts communicating with you, try to really listen to them, rather than simply hear the words without taking any of them in. Think about the words they use, which intelligence they are using and how you can communicate to them where they are. Listening to understand, or active listening[1], can be extremely effective in business. Stephen Covey[2] explores the application of this when talking about empathic listening. All too often, we treat the time when someone else is talking as a chance to work out what we want to say next. Are we really listening?

Such a closed-minded response will adversely affect the power of our own messages, as our audience will not feel valued or listened to and so will not engage with what we are trying to say. Listen to people with care and respect and avoid disregarding facts in favour of a knee-jerk, or overly emotional response. This will help engender trust and mutual understanding – the cornerstones of effective communication. Similarly, if you make sure you really listen to what your heart, head and gut are trying to tell you before ploughing ahead with your own communication, you will find it much easier to respond with an open mind and so win over your audience.

Become An Effective Leader

“Creativity is a uniquely human trait that reflects our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and our effective cognitive abilities to combine and improve upon ideas to which we are exposed”[1]. Creativity is inherent in us all; this is borne out in our incredible capacity to adapt, evolve and take on board new ideas. We have the ability to invent new systems of working and to come up with ways to teach and inspire others to engage with our vision, see our point of view and follow our example. These are all key qualities of leadership that are well within our grasp, especially if we are willing to explore the art of decision making.

Effective leaders understand the power of creative thinking and confident decision-making, both of which come from the head. Creativity is at the centre of effective communication and helps us to respond quickly to a situation and devise one or more approaches to a problem to show strong leadership.

Being versatile and open-minded enough to adapt the messages we need to communicate to suit our audience also demands high levels of creativity and cognitive perception. When these head-brain traits are combined in our communications with a hefty dose of heartfelt compassion, along with the courage and motivation that comes directly from the gut, our communications become even more compelling and we begin to sound like a leader worth following.

Have A Go Yourself…

Find a quiet space and make sure you are feeling relaxed and have plenty of paper with you and a pen. At the top of the sheet of paper, write down a message that you would like to communicate to your team – just one sentence giving the main information. Next, take some deep breaths and think about how your head brain would communicate this message to a brand-new audience. Write down a few phrases that you would associate with a head-brain approach to your chosen message.

Repeat this step with your heart and gut brains on different sheets of paper. You might like to include your audience’s imagined responses too, if they reacted just with one of their three brains. Once you have done that, look at each set of phrases in turn, seeing what kinds of words you have written down and the feelings they evoke.

Did you find one section easier to come up with phrases for than the others? Or was one harder to think about? What do the various phrases have in common with each other? Are they the kinds of words you would typically use to relay a message like this? This kind of analysis will give you a greater insight into the way that you have been communicating, and the brain or brains you have been using most. Which set of words do you think would help your audience trust and understand your message the most? Which would elicit the most suspicion and resistance?

Discuss your findings with a colleague – you may well find that they go about the same exercise in a totally different way to you. Remain open-minded and learn from each other and always remember to practise active listening and respectful communication.

If you would like to find out how to communicate effectively with each of your intelligences to make aligned authentic decisions, then contact me to discuss what options are available

If you are still thinking… “I need more information,” then get hold of a copy of mBraining: Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff and start your mBraining journey today

[1]  mBraining: Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff Paperback – 25 Apr 2012

[2] Rogers, C. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships as developed in the client-centered framework. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

[3] Covey, Stephen R. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. Print

[4] Runco M. A. Creativity. Theories and themes: research, development and practice. 2007; Burlington MA: Elsevier Academic Press.

Post Author: Gayle Young