The Communication Continuum

How space and time can transform our communication

What is it that gives other people confidence in you?

What is it that defines you as a credible, confident, authoritative communicator of ideas and vision? Gives you gravitas? Says to people that they should take you seriously?

It’s pretty simple really. It’s all about space and time.

In (not quite) the same way physics brings space and time together to form the space-time continuum, so it is that how we bring together our personal relationship to space and time will define our impact as communicators. A Communication Continuum, if you like. 

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Five things no one likes to hear and why

In my youngsters days I felt uncomfortable when someone told me one of these five phrases. I’ve now learned how to act upon them.

In my youngsters days, at some point, I felt uncomfortable when someone told me one of these phrases, and even though I’ve learned how to act upon them, these for me are the top 5 things no one enjoys listening to and I want to share them with you. I’m pretty sure you will even agree with me on the reasons why.

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Audi Alteram Partem (Listen to the other side).

The ability to ‘listen’ to the part of the brain he needs to use first (even if it is not the ‘preferred’ one) in different situations as well as when it is time to listen to both. This is what (I believe to be) some leaders may call as Contextual intelligence – the proficiency at adapting knowledge and skills (QI and EQ) to different situations and environments to make informed decisions.

In common law, Audi Alteram Partem is a Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well”. It is the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them. It is a fundamental principle of English common law that a decision-maker should listen to, and take into account, both sides of an argument. This principle is encapsulated in the Latin phrase Audi Alteram Partem, or ‘Let the other side be heard as well’.

Audi Alteram Partem in leadership & project management.

The context I want to bring here is our ability to listen to the two sides of our brain. I am not a specialist on the topic (or any topic) and will share my personal views based on both, readings and work life experience.

As it relates to me, listening to both sides of our brain all the time is not something natural to everyone. We need to practice it. In my case, it took while before I started thinking of it. All of us born with different aptitudes, abilities, and talents. Some people use more the right side of the brain and others the left. If you are not familiar with this at all, i found this short definition about the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Continue reading “Audi Alteram Partem (Listen to the other side).”

Leadership Interview: ‘My Coaching Journey’ Richi Mock, Cape Town

Prioritization, patience, listening and accountability – these are the key skills Richi Mock believes he needs as a successful coach.

I usually start off these ‘Leadership Interview’ articles by explaining how and when I met the subject of my interview, and how we have worked together on leadership coaching projects. Not so with Richi Mock. So far I have not met him face-to-face. Yes, we have spoken by phone and had an extensive exchange of emails. Someday I hope our paths cross. As a Guest Author  he has contributed eight rich and varied articles to this Blog since last summer. Richi describes himself as: “An experienced problem solver with a pragmatic approach who continuously evolves by facing new and interesting challenges. A passionate coach who leads a successful team and fills his heart with this wonderful experience”. I can’t disagree with that. Let’s find out more about his coaching journey.

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Who is Really Listening?

If asking purposeful questions is the front end of coaching then active listening is the tail end where the real work gets done. But who is really listening?

A lot has been written about listening skills. I list some good further reading from eminent sources below. There is also ‘Levels of Listening’ in the Coaches Toolkit on this website. I recently decided to do my own research into the subject. OK, my research methods were a bit wonky and my sample sizes tiny …. however I thought I would share my findings and see what you think. Five things to avoid and five ideas to inspire.

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Are you (REALLY) listening to me?

How wiser can one become by talking. How about (really) listening and reflecting?

The other day I was reflecting and I think I became a better leader after becoming the head of family and father. There might obviously be many influencing factors like maturity, additional responsibility, and lifetime plans but, deliberating about key aspects, I realised that it has a lot to do with my ability to empathize and listen to them –  something I have developed.

Last summer I decided to do some activity with my younger son (Murilo) – who was 10year-old at that time. The plan I envisioned had twofold objectives. I wanted to do some sport and longed to spend valuable time with him, who is growing very fast. The agreed activity was running and I named us the “Silva-runners” to make fun of it. Continue reading “Are you (REALLY) listening to me?”

Understand to be Understood

Need some ideas on how to be better understood as a leader? The key is to first work hard on understanding your audience; then tailor the presentation of your ideas to what you discover. Here’s how.

What is Impactful Communication?

Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father was quoted as saying: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Impactful communication is about listening and expressing yourself in a way that creates insight and understanding, builds trust and inspires people to take action.

When you listen to and understand your audience you can adjust your tone, language and emphasis to capture their attention. You can then teach, involve and inspire. You can influence. You can coach. Continue reading “Understand to be Understood”