Act As If You Don't Know - Deepstash

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3 steps to having difficult - but necessary - conversations

Act As If You Don't Know

Asking questions as if you don't know anything about the whole problem, and listening carefully, can ease out the worst of conflicts.

Listening also makes other people get the impression that you care.

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Misunderstanding body language

Contrary to popular belief, body language in the context of public speaking is more than hand and arm gesture.

It means adjusting the way we stand, move and smile to capture and hold the attention of an audience.

What puts an audience off
  • We indicate that we are feeling threatened when we take a step back or we show any sign of a closed body language.
  • Crossing our arms also shows nervousness and it puts our audience in a defensive mode.
  • Your end up showing that you feel superior to the rest of the room if you tilt your head backward.
Match your gestures to your message

Match your gestures to your words.
We are visual creatures, and any movement used in the right way in this direction will spark the attention of your audience. Just try not to abuse this rule.

Language as a tool
When students are learning a new language, it is notable that some can express their thoughts beautifully with a limited vocabulary. Still, others that know the language much better struggle to make themselves understood.

How well somebody communicates in a new language has very little to do with their language level and a lot more to do with their attitude.

The struggle

Some people have a fear of being wrong. They measure success by how few mistakes they make.

Some people know what the language should sound like, where they are at currently, and how far they have to go to get there.

Where to put your focus

Speaking a language is not like those exams that many of us had to take in grade school, where a tiny grammar mistake would lose you marks.

In the real world, small errors don't matter. What matters is to make yourself understood. 

Don't focus on yourself or on your own mistakes. Focus on the other person you're talking to and the result you want to get. 

Effective And Clear Communication

The 4 principles to effectively communicate complex concepts:

  • Start off in the right place
  • Don't explain too much
  • Go for clarity over accuracy
  • Explain your motivation.
Start In The Right Place

Everyone's got a different background, everyone's got a different set of knowledge, and it's our job to explain the information in terms that they already understand.

As you start to explain, ask questions like "Is this making any sense?" And don't worry too much about whether you're telling the audience something they've already heard before. 

Don't Explain Too Much

Focus on the bigger picture, instead of explaining in length every nitty-gritty detail, which people will find hard to absorb.

Too much information can dilute your message.