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Justin Wright

Monday Velocity - Communication Strategies

Published 4 months ago • 3 min read

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Communication Strategies

We are surprisingly bad at communicating. The amount of information we misinterpret, don't process, don't hear, and otherwise ignore is off the charts. There is no way to escape the fact that effective communication is a necessary prerequisite to success in any endeavor. Fortunately, there are several easy strategies that will instantly improve your ability to communicate with others.

When we think about communication, it's important to understand that there are two phases to the process. First, there is the message being delivered. The person speaking must overcome a number of hurdles to ensure that their message is received properly. Second, the person listening must internalize the message as it was delivered, and then go through their own process of interpreting and understanding it. There are countless places where things can go wrong.

When it comes to communicating effectively, focus on the following:

  1. Maximize variables: when communicating, we want to maximize the number of variables involved so that our message has the highest chance of being understood. Always call instead of text, or ideally meet in person if the message is important enough. In-person communication has the most variables (body language, eye contact, tone of voice, messaging) and typically text communication has the least. How many times have you misinterpreted a text because you couldn't rely on tone of voice to decipher it?
  2. Make eye contact: acceptable eye contact varies depending on whether you are speaking or listening. Typically, you want to maintain firm eye contact when you are listening to someone else. When it's your turn to speak, you can let your eyes wander and come back, as if you're briefly lost in thought. This is a natural cadence that will reinforce the connection you have with the person you're interacting with.
  3. Listen to understand: when listening to someone else, don't worry about your response as they're speaking. Instead, try to internalize every aspect of their message. When there is a natural pause in the conversation, ask clarifying questions or, better yet, try to repeat what they just said in your own words to see if you understood. Then you can respond with your own viewpoint. This will do two things: you will better understand the message in the first place and you will give a more thoughtful response.
  4. Ensure proper delivery: you can do everything right, but your message can still be misinterpreted or received incorrectly. One of the best things you can do is double check that what you said landed the way it was supposed to. Don't end a conversation assuming that things went well, take a few moments at the end to get feedback and input from the other party. A few brief moments of clarity here can save many headaches later.

Communicating is hard, and communicating effectively can be damn-near impossible. If you can gain increased awareness of how you're delivering messages, and you can focus on being a better listener, you will greatly increase your likelihood of long-term success. Putting these things into practice will take some conscious thought, but the ends more than justify the means.


Hit List

The best things I've encountered this week:

What I'm listening to: Ed Catmull on the Rich Roll Podcast

I read Ed's book, Creativity Inc., a long time ago, and his process of making sure the best ideas rose to the top stuck with me. He was a pioneer in every respect, but he also built one of the most effective corporate cultures of the modern world. This podcast goes through all of it, and I still picked up several useful nuggets that I didn't know before.

What I'm reading: Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull

I revisited parts of this book after listening to the podcast above. It's a great primer on how to succeed in any team environment, not just business. It also covers so much more than just making creative work. I truly believe this should be required reading for anyone transitioning from school into the work force.

What I'm also reading: Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright & Bradley Hope

This story is fascinating and covers the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia. In summary, a guy named Jho Low embezzled billions of dollars with the help of then Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Low became a staple of American celebrity circles, and even funded the production of the hit film, The Wolf of Wall Street.


Screenshot of the Week:


Quote of the Week:

"Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new." - Ed Catmull


Let's work together

When you're ready, here are a few ways I can help you:

  1. Check out the latest episodes of my podcast 🎙
  2. Apply for 1-on-1 coaching 🏆
  3. Purchase my goal-setting course 🚦

Justin Wright

Former chemist, former pro athlete, and current film producer sharing the lessons I've learned along the way.

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If you're being forwarded this message, you can click HERE to subscribe yourself. Accomplish your goals this year! If you want to actually accomplish the goals you've set for yourself in 2024, you need a system that you can fall back on when the going gets tough. For a system that I've personally used for myself and with countless clients, check out my NEW goal-setting course available HERE. Note that I will never spam you with emails to sign up, and will simply keep this section at the top...

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If you're being forwarded this message, you can click HERE to subscribe yourself. Accomplish your goals this year! If you want to actually accomplish the goals you've set for yourself in 2024, you need a system that you can fall back on when the going gets tough. For a system that I've personally used for myself and with countless clients, check out my NEW goal-setting course available HERE. Note that I will never spam you with emails to sign up, and will simply keep this section at the top...

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