Updated: Jan 3
Today, we will talk about the five factors of high efficient communication. The five factors are purpose, accuracy, guidance, standpoint, and equality.
The purpose of communicating with someone is among these three: delivering a message, expressing feelings, and fixing conflicts.
If we communicate with our friends or relatives, the purpose would probably be expressing feelings. If we communicate with our colleagues, the purpose would probably be delivering messages. If something bad had happened, the purpose of communicating with our friends, relatives, colleagues, or even strangers would probably be fixing conflicts.
If our purpose is to deliver messages, then the factors of accuracy would be more important. But if our purpose is to express feelings, then the factors of equality would be more important. Furthermore, if our purpose is to fixing conflicts, then the factors of standpoint and guidance would be more important.
Therefore, when you communicate with someone, you must focus on the original purpose of your communication, you mustn’t forget what you really want by being interfered with by other factors.
Everyone has different knowledge and different level of comprehensive ability. Even though if two persons have the same level of knowledge, they would probably have cognitive differences on the same concept or definition. Typical cognitive differences could be caused by cognitive dissonance, primacy effect, or drawbridge effect.
In most of the cases, you thought others had understood what you said, or you thought you had understood what others said, but it was not always true. Sometimes people are euphemistic or ambiguous when they say something, or in other cases, they do not have an emphasis or orderliness. Even though you might have a strong ability of comprehension, but to accurately understand what others say, you still have to sort out what they said and repeat their viewpoints and make them conform. Especially when there are multiple understandings of a single concept, you have to make sure that your understanding is consistent with what others really mean.
A good method is to use different descriptions and simplified language to repeat their points and let them confirm. Such as: “You mean ……, am I right?” or “Do you mean ……?”
Guidance is usually used for fixing conflicts or influence other people. When we have conflicts with others, a bad way to fix the conflict is to try to control their thoughts and persuade them, or demand them to do what you thought they should do. In this way, they probably would think “How dare you to try to teach me a lesson?”
In other words, when you try to persuade someone to do something, you should let them feel like you are standing in their shoes and think about their interests. Do not tell them your real purpose directly. Even though the person you talk to has a high EQ and has the ability to identify your true purpose, but if you speak for him and stand in his point of view, then he would be more delightful to accept what you said.
When fixing conflicts with someone or influencing someone, you have to find a good reason for what you are going to say, the purpose is to make them feel like being taken seriously and make them feel comfortable, in that way they would be easier to accept what you are saying.
Standpoint means you have to stand for what you represent.
A person talking to a dog on a street is meaningless because they have totally different standpoints. Normally, if you want to know a certain girl, and one of your friends happens to know that girl, you can ask your friend to invite the girl to you and your friend’s next hanging-out, in this way you can know the girl very easily. This is because you have built a common standpoint with that girl. For another example, if you want to strike up a conversation with some girl on the street without a common topic or a common interest, it would be nearly impossible to succeed. But if she’s playing some game with her smartphone and you know you used to play that game, we would say that you and the girl have a similar standpoint. In this way, you would have a better chance to communicate with the girl.
Let’s get back to the topic of project management. In project management, if you are in the sales department, you would have high efficiency in communicating with the colleague from the same department. But you probably do not communicate much with the colleagues from technical departments. If you want to communicate with them, then you have to find a chance to include them when you start a topic. For example, you can tell a colleague from the technical department that you sold a product today and the customer really likes the product for the great design and the high-tech of it. In this way, your colleague will have a strong sense of participation and will be delighted to have a conversation with you. In summary, you have successfully built a common standpoint with the person you want to communicate with.
Equality means you have the same level of the attribute as the person you are communicating with.
Equality also means that you have to balance both sides’ feelings in order to ensure the effectiveness of the conversation. For instance, when talking to a person with low self-confidence, you have to praise him/her occasionally for him/her to feel like he/she is at least the same level as you are. On the other hand, when talking to a person with a high self-concept, you have to praise yourself occasionally to make him feel like you are at least the same level as he is. Only in this way he will take you seriously and be willing to have a sincere conversation with you. If you do the opposite and praise him, then he would probably think a little of you or ignore you completely.
In summary, this article presents five factors of high efficient communication and gives some daily life examples of what they really mean. Hope this article can help some readers improve their interpersonal skill to some degree.