Keep it simple and sweet

WE might have often been chided for our sometimes discourteous manner of speech; too soft, too loud, too fast or simply too direct and blunt, as this affects how the message is conveyed and comprehended. Apart from this, what and how we say it also makes a difference. When you say "Hey, you just had a haircut", it is making a statement but when you say "Hey, you have cut your hair too short, it does not look good on you", you would have made a double whammy with judgment and opinion thrown in. Instead, try making a neutral statement without alleging, accusing or imposing your thoughts or opinions about something.

Choice of words and how we put them across are so important when communicating as non-aggressive communication not only gets us far in what we need to achieve, it makes us better human beings as well.

Non-aggressive communication can apply to both verbal and non-verbal and that includes the infamous WhatsApp. I have seen families and friends tearing each other apart with vicious words and become bitter enemies over cookies and ice-cream.

Talking and speaking come naturally to human beings and we adopt different styles according to our mood and character. Does it take too much trouble to always practise non-aggressive communication? Make it a habit and it will come naturally just as everything else we do in our daily lives.

This does not mean one has to be dishonestly nice and speak untruths.

Choosing right speech over one that may be hurtful can be powerful in a society overloaded with misconceptions that often deter us from communicating honestly with our near and dear ones.

At the workplace, non-aggressive communication will bring benefits to both employers and employees.

A boss who throws the dwindling numbers at his subordinates and demands they buck up or be prepared to quit, is riling himself up and the entire office with the wrong approach to leadership.

If the same boss brings the employees to the table and shares the downward slide as a deep concern and asks for opinions and suggestions on how the numbers could be improved with collective input, it could make a whole lot of difference.

Always share observations as opposed to attaching judgments to an observation.

In What We Say Matters, Ike Lasater and Judith Hanson Lasater explain that when a feeling is attached to an observation, a non-violent statement of truth emerges effortlessly.

An effort in expressing honestly, empathetically and openly leads to a new perspective in communication.

Agreed that communication requires a lot of work contrary to the perception that it is as simple as standing up and talking or making a speech.

Effective communication is at the forefront of business.

A survey found that over 75% of employers are placing more emphasis on verbal communication skills as a hiring prerequisite. Despite the importance of productive business communication, leaders and managers often struggle with connecting and communicating in the workplace.

A newly released HR Magazine study found that 45% of employees surveyed encounter confusing messages or unclear directions at least once a day. Over 35% of employees surveyed report having to deal with miscommunication from their supervisors three or more times each day!

There is no excuse for rudeness on either side of the fence. I had an inflated argument with a colleague on what could constitute rudeness. In his opinion loudness translates into rudeness, I chose to differ.

There could be a million ways one can be rude and we won't discuss them here but suffice to know that rudeness is subjective, but we will know what it looks like when we hear or see it.

Hence, let us keep it simple, sweet, sincere, open and honest. What do you say?