Communication is the successful transfer of information, ideas or feelings from one point to the other without distorting the message.
I recently read about a Call Centre Operator who received a call;
Caller: I will like to disconnect my line, because my spouse has passed. I don’t need it anymore.
Operator: I’ll be happy to do that for you.
This is what a lot of people do when communicating with others. They barely wait for the other person to finish before rolling out their own scripted response(s). In the case above, the caller lost their spouse, but the script the call centre operator has been given is “be happy to do that for you“, to all customer requests. That should not be the case.
The caller successfully transferred the information (disconnect line), and feeling (feeling down, because of the death of spouse). But the Operator only heard “disconnect line” therefore didn’t communicate appropriately.
The Three Tips
- Why: Purpose
- When: Downtime & Uptime
- What: Content & Container
Why: Purpose (Enlighten & Enhappy)
Enlighten: The main objectives of communication is either to Enlighten, which is to educate, instruct, or direct. Give guidance that results in the improvement or potential improvement of the hearer or to…
“Enhappy“, to ensure happiness. Communicating in a way that will uplift the hearer, by enriching their heart and soul. Which is what the caller really needed at that time. Sometimes what is not being said is more important than what is being said. Although the caller didn’t mention that she was feeling down, it should be obvious to any competent commmunicator (who listens) that she could do with some “Enhappiness”.
When: Down Time & Uptime
People are either up or down. They are either feeling superb or stupid, elated or deleted. Generally, downtime is not a good time. I have only met one person in all my life (personal and professional), who likes to be a looser, unhappy and miserable. He is definitely one in a Minion! Needles to say, many people avoid him, including myself 🙂 . Be sensitive to the state of affairs of your communication partner(s). If it’s their downtime, your approach will of course be different than if it’s their uptime. And vice versa. You can discover this by not only hearing, but by really listening.
What: Content & Containers.
What you say is the content, and how you say it is the the container. The two must agree. Otherwise, they will neither Enlighten nor “Enhappy” the hearer. You can ensure they align by not following scripted responses in your conversations all the time. Leave your ideas alone when listening with others. Things might appear similar, but they couldnt be farther from each other. All human beings appear alike, but no 2 people have the same fingerprints. That should give you a clue. Don’t use scripted answers, and you’ll find that you’ll be able to match your containers with your content, and those with whom you communicate will usually want more of you.
- Be clear about the purpose of your communication. Do you want to Enlighten or Enhappy?
- Context is King. Choose the appropriate time, because communication is difficult at downtimes. The best thing you can do for a person is to “Enhappy” them at downtimes. To Enlighten, choose uptime.
- Align content and container. Let what you say and how you say it be heading in the same direction. That will allow your product and its package to benefit your listener, when they use it “hook, line and sinker.”
Until next time, keep the flag flying, and see you soon.
Kunle Orankan is one of our most experienced speakers and also a mentor for many.
About himself, he sais: “I use blogs and books; seminars and workshops; webinars and online courses, formal and informal gatherings as my platforms to reach people and generate positive, pleasant outcomes in their lives.”
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