in Career Development, Communication, Improvement & Development, Leadership, Leading People

What is Heard and What is Felt

This may sound very simple but communication is all about transferring emotion and energy. Words are simply carriers of that emotion. Yes, choice of words matter, but that is not communication.

Consider this example.

The new sales director was on boarded with a lot of frenzy. In his first address to all the team members, he delivered a well crafted introduction. He spoke about himself, his past projects and then about how he intends to take this organization to new heights. If a transcript was created out of his speech, it would be a perfectly worded one. Yet, he was not able to establish the connection in this first address. At water-cooler conversations, people expressed skepticism. Even when everything he said was right, something was not right!

Clearly, there was a lot of focus on delivery and content and less on emotion, energy, intensity and conviction. His overall demeanor suggested that he was putting his own agendas first before focusing on others. He expressed his goals and desires without focusing on the need to understand the current context. He said it, but people felt that he did not mean it. 

Bottom line: As a leader, you talk to people more clearly through experiences you extend, not just through well-crafted words. Your words may be heard, but your attitude, emotion and intent are always felt.

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Photo Courtesy: KrossBow’s Flickr Photostream

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  1. So well said!
    Whether hierarchical or peer, the ‘giving away’ component of the communication gets completed , in essence, only when the recipient accepts it by mind as well as by heart. Rationality, unless duly supported by emotionality, remains on the surface only.
    When rationality and emotionality react chemically, the resulting compound has the good chance of being authentically convincing.
    Unless the recipient is not convinced of the message received, he/she would not advocate it further in the communication chain.
    The process has to go through multiple iterations at each layer of the communication chain of n its forward journey.
    In order for the communication to be complete and high fidelity feedback being received, the similar iterations have to be successfully and effectively gone through in the return journey of the message.
    That is why, sincere and judicious use f informal communication chains can make the communication process more effective and efficient. Of course, extreme care is required to be exercised when informal communication channels are used to convert a formal message, because that is a very sharp, double-edged sword!

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