COMMUNICATION IS THE WAY WE TELL OTHERS what we need or what we would like them to do. The better we are at expressing ourselves, the happier we will be, and hopefully the more someone else gets done.

Communication is an art, not a science. The more creative we are in expressing ourselves, the more a person or a group understands what we are saying and the more results are achieved.

AS INVESTORS WHO WORK OVER THE PHONE, we are somewhat at a disadvantage because we can’t see our clients. The only things that we have to give us clues of how our client is reacting are their voice and the inflection, tone and rate of speech. It’s necessary that we develop our senses so that we can read what’s going on the other end of the phone.

IN ORDER TO BE A GOOD COMMUNICATOR, IT’S IMPORTANT to become proficient in using the tools of expression. Some of these tool are voice tone, rate and modulation. (They also include our body language and facial expression, as well as eye expressions.)

QUESTIONS ARE IMPORTANT IN COMMUNICATION so we can understand what the other person is getting and what is going over their head. It’s a way of grading what we are saying and whether we must change our delivery for more complete understanding. Without using questions as a checks-and-balances system in a discussion, we may have told our side of the story without the other person having a clue what we were trying to get at.

The real test of whether they are getting what we are saying is if we ask them questions that require them to understand what we have taught them in order to answer.

COMMUNICATION IS NOTHING MORE THAN NEGOTIATION. When we negotiate for a certain result, we practice various techniques to strengthen our request. This process is much like a dance where there is give-and-take or an ebb and flow of requests and compromises to come to an agreement. It’s fun and fulfilling when practiced and executed with style and excitement.

LISTENING IS ANOTHER PART OF COMMUNICATION. Communication isn’t just a unilateral exchange of ideas or concepts. It requires that both parties enter into an agreement of sorts about the concepts and realities of each person and that the listener develops an appreciation of the other person’s ideas, while not necessarily wholly agreeing with them, so that he might define the differences, at least in his mind, to draw distinctions from what is being said and then expressing his beliefs.

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh


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