In the lead up to New Year’s celebrations and people setting resolutions for the coming year, I thought that it would be timely to remind people of communication and how our subconscious values and beliefs impact on how we receive messages. In 1994, Australian Psychologist Hugh Mackay published a hugely influential book called “Why don’t people listen”. In this publication, he gave ten laws for human communication. These are still incredibly relevant today and I thought that a reminder of these may help to ease us, myself included, through 2018 and the challenges and successes that we will face.
- “It’s not what our message does to the listener, but what the listener does with our message, that determines our success as communicators.
- Listeners generally interpret messages in ways which make them feel comfortable and secure.
- When people’s attitudes are attacked head-on, they are likely to defend those attitudes and, in the process, to reinforce them.
- People pay most attention to messages which are relevant to their own circumstances and point of view.
- People who feel insecure in a relationship are unlikely to be good listeners.
- People are more likely to listen to us if we also listen to them.
- People are more likely to change in response to a combination of new experiences and communication than in response to communication alone.
- People are more likely to support a change which affects them if they are consulted before the change is made.
- The message in what is said will be interpreted in the light of how, when, and where and by whom it is said.
- Lack of self-knowledge and unwillingness to resolve our own internal conflicts makes it harder for us to communicate with other people” (Mackay, 1994).
Thinking on these ten laws of human communication, how can we implement them? Mostly it is about being aware, open and understanding that messages are interpreted through the other individual’s filter, as are yours. Bob Poole in his 2009 book, “Listen First, Sell Later” also reinforces that is the listening stage that is most important. When we actively listen to all the things that people are saying and not saying, whether that be verbally, through actions or with body language, we have a greater ability to understand what the other individual is trying to communicate. This leads to less misunderstanding.
Leaving communication for now, another crucially important activity to do in 2018 is goal set. Start New Years Eve before you go out and celebrate. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. I have an activity sheet on setting these types of goals. Just send me an email to Bianca@Lifeempowerment4you.com and I will email you my goal setting activity sheet. This will be one of the most significant things you do for 2018! Set your goals for 1 week, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. Where do you want to be? What resources do you have to help you get there – this could be monetary, people, skills, or inner strength. How much do you want to achieve these? Envisage them, get that powerful subconscious working for you instead of against you! What will it look like, smell like, feel like when you achieve each of these goals? Create a Vision Board with your goals. Place it somewhere that you see it every day. Revisit and review your goals throughout the year. Are they still relevant and important to you? Everything you do, think about whether it is contributing or working against your goals.
That brings me to two quotes that I’d like to leave you with:
“A good plan, violently executed NOW, is better than a perfect plan NEXT WEEK” (General George Patton).
“We don’t always know what’s going to happen. That’s ok” (Biz Stone, Twitter).
Be safe over the coming year, I’m off to plan / goal set 😉