When someone talks to you, updates you on a project, asks you to do something, assigns you a task, has a business communication of any kind or just needs a favor, here is a method that has proven effective in eliminating misunderstandings and errors.
1. Focus on the communicator.
• Stop – whatever else you’re doing. Distractions cause errors.
• Look – at the person who is talking. People communicate both verbally and non-verbally.
• Listen – with your eyes and ears. Using eye contact increases listening intensity.
2. Write the communication down. Writing the message or task reduces error by 90%.
3. Repeat it back. Repeating gives the communicator peace of mind that the message has been received & understood. Repeat all dates and numbers twice.
4. Get confirmation. The communicator will appreciate acknowledging that you are correct in receiving and understanding the communication.
5. Deliver what you promised. Delivering is as important as listening, writing and confirming – combined.
Want more? Read The Difference Between Presentation and Communication