David L. Levin, co-author of one of my favorite books: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, sets out on his own with Don’t Just Talk, Be Heard! Closing the Gap Between What You Say and What People Hear. He shares his experiences of helping people with communication gaps in his job as a communication coach. The short, fast read includes real-life stories (with names changed, of course) of people with different issues and at different stages of their careers. Most of them are strong employees that could be better or have weak areas that need fixing.
Levin doesn’t offer your typical advice for listening and communicating. He delves into the communication problems using the examples. Think about a conversation you’ve had with someone. Does that person make a statement and you respond by changing the topic? You can improve communication with the “hand-off” by responding with something relevant (a question or comment) to what the person said before making a transition to your topic. It changes the direction of the conversation showing that you “heard” the other person.
In reading the case studies, you can identify potential areas that might affect you or someone who reports to you. At the end of the case studies, Levin presents questions and steps to take to correct the problems. However, we’re not aware of some of the communication habits that we have. Obviously, you can’t apply the book’s advice if you don’t know what these are. So Levin encourages working with someone who can provide effective feedback on these unconscious behaviors.
The Appendix lists actions and questions based on what someone needs to work on such as facilitating, using “we” and “us” more, working with disconnects and dealing with negative assumptions. The short book makes it easier to share with a team or colleague so you can help each other take yourselves from good to great or great to stupendous. This book is a good partner in helping you close the communication gaps.
Take a look inside of Don’t Just Talk, Be Heard! Closing the Gap Between What You Say and What People Hear.
What communication gaps have you encountered? How did you fix them?