Ten Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Communication Style

It's fascinating that the activity which occupies approximately 70% of our waking hours is what we have difficulty with most. The fact is, most of us were never taught how to communicate in a way that produces desired results, and so we continue to experience frustration, resistance, conflicts, or breakdowns.

Take a look at some of the obstacles that may prevent you from reaching certain objectives during the communication process.

  • We want to be heard and listened to but don't always concentrate on the quality of our message or give the gift of our own listening.

  • We want to be understood, yet often fail to check if our communication was successful.

  • We want acceptance and agreement from others, so much that we often become consumed with having to be right or to prove our point, instead of co-creating a greater outcome together.

  • We want some kind of action or response from another person, without letting them know what we really want, or how to achieve it.

  • We want to understand the message the other person is communicating to us, yet our ability to listen is tainted by our perceptions of the person speaking or the outcome we are looking to achieve. So, we often pass judgment on the speaker, evaluating the messenger rather than fully accepting the entire message.

Evolving your communication requires taking full responsibility for the outcome of each conversation; not only for what you are saying but also for the message the other person is hearing.

Since we all listen and process information differently, it is crucial to uncover and become sensitized to the other person's style of communication in order to align it with your own.

To strengthen your communication, here are ten questions to ask yourself to determine how effectively you communicate.

  1. Am I taking full responsibility for the message being heard by the other person? (Remember, it doesn't matter what you say, it only matters what the other person hears.)

  2. Did I respect the other person's point of view? Did I have a reaction to what they were saying that prevented me from listening to their full message?

  3. Did the other person feel heard and understood? (Did I acknowledge them?)

  4. If I was asking someone to take a specific action, did I make my request clear?

  5. Am I speaking in a way the other person can understand? (Am I communicating in a way the other person will listen? (I.e., Speaking in their "language"/communication style.)

  6. Am I checking to see if the conversation worked/was successful?

  7. Was I communicating openly, without prejudices, expectations and judgment? (Was I focused on having to be right, or have my point of view be accepted?)

  8. Did I leave the conversation with some value? (Did I allow the other person to contribute to me?)

  9. Did I give the person the gift of my listening?

  10. If the outcome of the conversation did not meet my expectations, did I learn what I could improve upon to better communicate with that particular person? (Did I open up a new and greater possibility that I didn't notice before?)


Keith Rosen is the CEO of Profit Builders. He has taken his years of management, business ownership and coaching experience into the business community where he provides personalized one-on-one and group coaching and corporate training to improve, build and manage your career and your life for optimum success and enjoyment. Keith has been the keynote speaker and executive coach for organizations such as GE, MCI WorldCom and the American Marketing Association. Being a pioneer in the coaching profession, Keith is one of the first to hold the designation of Master Certified Coach and is also a widely published columnist.

Contact information:

E-mail: keithrosen@profitbuilders.com
Web Site: http://www.profitbuilders.com/

You may like these other stories...

By Michael Alter Participating in social media is rapidly becoming a necessity for businesses. In 2013, we're seeing discussions among business owners shifting away from why to participate to where and how to get...
By Jeff Davidson You've had those days: nothing is working and your frustration is mounting. Resilient individuals, however, manage to find their way back on track. They apply ingenuity to daily tasks, long-term...
By Curtis C. Verschoor, CMACourt cases and events involving whistleblowing are appearing in news headlines with greater frequency, and awareness about the importance of speaking up, when witnessing wrongdoing continues to...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.