CLEAN Communication...what you say matters!

After having facilitated thousands of discussions for my clients in conflict, mediating hundreds of cases and speaking to more than 60,000 people around the globe at conferences and events, I have learned a few things about communication. First, it is difficult to undo things that have been said, or things assumed and not clarrified.

Much of the conversations we are exposed to through verbal communication, the written word (letters, memos, etc), and technological exchanges (emails and texts) contain one of two common problems... they are unclear or laced with too much drama.

Here is a way to think about communication... I call it CLEAN Communication.

CLEAN communication is credible

CLEAN communication is clear

CLEAN communication is confident

CLEAN communication is congruent
CLEAN communication contains ZERO drama!

Here are a few tips to communicate in a CLEAN way...

1. Prepare for your conversations. Ensure you have practiced what you want to say. Worrying or playing things over silently in your head is not practice... it is worrying. Sadly people spend more time planning what they’ll have for dinner or what to wear for work, than they spend in actual preparation for the challenging and important conversations. Preparation can help with the communication being credible, clear, confident, and congruent and drama free. Start with writing out in short form your speaking points. Then practice in front of a mirror. Notice your non verbal communication. Keep practicing until your confidence improves and the emotion is minimized.

2. Imagine being in the other person's shoes. This is easier said than done, however, imagine the situation from where the other person sits. What do you anticipate is important to him/her? What will be tough to say and tough to hear? What assumptions have you made? What do you think his/her perspective is? Thinking this through helps build compassion, and helps you identify the questions that might be helpful in the dialogue.

3. Plan for what will be difficult to say but important to hear information. Often people blurt! They blurt out a statement that comes across as hurtful, offensive and sometimes downright mean. When you plan and practice what could be difficult to say (or difficult for the other person to hear), you can create more collaboration, compassion and clarity in your message. Blurting often includes too much drama… unrelated examples, past issues that are not relevant and assumptions or finger pointing.

4. Assume less…understand more Assumptions can be dangerous in dialogue. In the blink of an eye an assumption can be made, not clarified and a relationship is damaged. Assumptions provide great opportunity for discussion, to better understand a person’s frame of reference and perspectives. The best cure for assumptions are open ended questions. They start with who, what, where, when, why and how.

5. Let it go! Consider the points rolling around in your brain that support your cause or perspective but won’t really aid the conversation. How is the past impacting your ability to move forward? Consider what you need to let go of in order to communicate in a CLEAN way, and resolve the issue.

I have a weekly show where I interview communication experts, business gurus, leadership experts, and more, listen in live or by the downloads: The offer great information about how to communicate in a CLEAN way.

Author's Bio: 

Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, is an international transformational speaker, best selling and award winning author and radio host, helping people live inspired, resilient lives and is a leading trainer in corporate North America helping transform workplaces. Charmaine is also an award winning and bestselling author of On Toby’s Terms (Bettie Youngs Books, Sept. 2010), Toby The Pet Therapy Dog – and his hospital friends (Bettie Youngs Books, Aug. 2011), and Bounce Forward (Hammond International Publishing, April 2011), and has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul- What I learned from the dog (Sept. 2009). She is also co-author of the hot new book GPS Your Best Life- Charting Your Destination & Getting There in Style. Her book On Toby’s Terms is currently in development to become a major motion picture and won GOLD in the Reader’s Favorite Award! She has been featured on CBC, CTV, Global TV, 820 CHAM, Alberta Prime Time News, many major newspapers including Metro News National Canada, US and New York, and in various magazines. She hosts three radio shows: Corporate Conversations with Charmaine, Your Book AS a Business, and PAWsitive Radio…all things Pets!
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