MASTERING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH PETYA WIENAND


Communication is indispensable to building harmonious relationships in all spheres of life

petya wienand.jpg

Yet, failure to communicate occurs way too often. Petya Wienand is a professional coach, accredited (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and а BetterUp Fellow Coach, who helps people communicate better.

What is effective communication and why do we need it today?

George Bernard Shaw said: "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

Communication is something that happens in the space between two or more people and it is a dynamic process, full of noise. So, effective communication would be all instances of conversations that have achieved their purpose as recognised by all parties involved: the one concluded with understanding and empathy. Ultimately, the purpose of communication is understanding, connection with another or others, a dialogue, where listening and speaking are crucial at the same time.

From this perspective, it is clear why we need it in our world of increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. To survive, grow and flourish in such a world, we need to start having more conversations and less rhetoric, more empathy and less resentment, more humility and less desire to prove superior. Thus, the question we ask ourselves when we think of communicating effectively is: how can we be direct, authentic, honest, and kind and respectful at the same time?

What main effective communication skills will you help us develop?

The main skills are the skills we need to connect with others: active listening, curiosity, presence, engagement, emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and storytelling. All of these are important to gain clarity of what we want to convey and the best way to do it.

Stephen Covey said: "The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply." Active listening has currently been identified as the most underestimated skill. Without it, we speak at cross purposes. Importantly, while listening we need to put aside our judgements and biases if we are to understand.

How we formulate our message and for what purpose is crucial. Here keeping in focus the purpose of the conversation and empathy with the person(s) are key: we need to beware of the slippery slope of proving right, or being liked, for that matter.

Conflict management and negotiating is another skillset. We need to remember that conflict is part of life and all relationships – we cannot avoid it, we can only learn how to manage it.

Awareness of non-verbal cues, like emotions and the tone of voice, is also important: here we are looking for a win-win outcome.

In what areas of life can we use these new skills?

As has become evident: we need effective communication in all areas of our life.

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