4 Questions To Improve Your Communication With Anyone

Communication can be a tricky thing. But there’s actually a way to feel much more confident in this minefield of possible misunderstanding and irritation.

We’ve zeroed in on four aspects of the communication process that are totally idiosyncratic, yet—and here lies the rub—we tend to assume that the other person is exactly like us in this regard.

At Strategic Coach, being very big on asking the right questions, we’ve come up with four questions to ask the other person that can can improve your communication and result in a positive experience for both sides—and, most important, a more successful result.

Here’s how to improve your communication with anyone! Ask each other these four questions…and share your answers: 1) “How do you like to give information?”; 2) “How do you prefer to get information?”; 3) “What’s the best time of day for you?”; 4) “When you’re under pressure…would you rather be left alone to get on with it, or does it help to have some company, reassurance, or a sounding board?” Remember this communication tip: What matter isn’t what you say, but the result you get!

Here’s how to improve your communication with anyone!
Ask each other these four questions…and share your answers.
Illustration by Hamish MacDonald.

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Summer Booklist: Leadership Reads

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Leadership is a big topic, and at some level, very personal. Here are four books that have strongly influenced my approach to leadership and strengthened my understanding, confidence, and capabilities.

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
By Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

I’ve long been inspired by this book—so much so that I interviewed author Dave Logan for the Team Success Handbook website. What I love most is how it describes, so accurately, the shift from Rugged Individualism to Unique Teamwork. It’s a must-read for those wanting to build a strong, powerful team focused on growth and teamwork.

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors
By Patrick Lencioni

This well-written business story deals with one of the most challenging issues leaders face: company politics. When people get focused on internal issues instead of on being successful as a company, it’s an incredible waste of time and creativity, and Lencioni provides the solution, rallying the troops around compelling goals.

Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
By Dr. Henry Cloud

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is knowing when, and how, to end things that are no longer working or that are compromising your focus on more important issues. As Dan Sullivan often says, ‘The problem is never the problem. The problem is that you don’t know how to think about the problem.” Dr. Cloud articulates very clearly how to think about the problem, and his book will give you, as it gave me, the confidence and context for knowing when and how to make necessary endings. Listen to my interview with Dr. Cloud.

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success
By Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty.

Phil Jackson has won an unprecedented eleven championships as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers through an innovative approach to values-based, selfless teamwork. I loved his first book Sacred Hoops, and this book is a powerful follow-up and must-read for leadership and sports fans alike.

Happy reading!

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