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How do we learn how to communicate?

The answer for most people would be through the environment we’re raised in. Our family dynamics, school friends, social activities, geographic area, and our personality traits are the most impactful influences on our personal communication styles and our tendencies.

Unfortunately, this means that we’re learning through osmosis. We end up learning through what we absorb, observe, and what we find are the best ways for us to get what we want in communication.

Because human beings are self-focused by nature, we tend to learn only what is good for us (or so we think), in given situations.

This is very limiting. It is further magnified by the tendency we have to believe that the view we have of the world is the right view. If we do something that works, we don’t tend to look further at what else will work. And as a result, one of the biggest obstacles to learning new things is what we already know.

Personal communication skills are not required learning in education systems (at no point from grade school thru my MBA degree did I study this). As a result, our learning is completely experiential and therefore, by default, it’s going to be limited. The most effective people at personal communication are people who are focused outwardly, meaning on the other person. This is a skill that needs to be developed because it goes against our nature.

We all want to be heard.

Mastering personal communication skills is a lifelong process that needs to be spear-headed by what I call “Learning on Purpose.”You have to actively pursue learning these skills. It is a normal occurence in business that the people with the best technical skills work for the people with the best people skills, and in most cases it is just the luck of the draw…

Be proactive in your learning in this area and it will make a major difference in your relationships and in your business results.


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