What is Effective Communication?
Welcome to the Seth Campbell podcast. This show is to equip you with real-world tactics that improve your leadership skills, build your wealth and cause you to leave a multi-generational impact on your world. This is episode twelve titled Can You Hear Me Now? And today we’re going to talk about the failures and communication from a little bit of a different angle that perhaps might be easy to digest, easy to grab. There’s probably going to be a quick one that you’ll be able to go back and implement inside your life, inside your business, inside your family, inside your current environment, right away.
This was based on a lesson I got from attending some neuro linguistic programming many years ago, and it was something that was one of those moments, at least for me and others inside that program. They were like, oh, my gosh, this is one of those big AHA moments. Big dumb moments because it’s so obvious. It’s so relevant. Never really told this before, never taught it, never really looked at it this way. And I’m going to break this down. You’re going to do a little self evaluation here at the beginning that will piece things together for you for the rest of our conversation today.
First of all, let’s divide communication. What is effective communication? I would define effective communication a transfer of knowledge or ideas that was received the way it was meant to be sent. That’s my definition of effective communication. Person A is attempting to convey something to person B got what the person was attempting to convey mismatched or lost expectation or conflicting expectation or communication. Rather, is when either they didn’t get it, it wasn’t conveyed or what they got wasn’t what was meant to be conveyed. Welcome to our lives.
We’ve all been through probably in the last 20 minutes. So let’s divide this up into speaking and listening. And this is the thing that I learned inside this thing and never seen things the same. And it’s this idea that there is inferential listening and speaking and direct listening and speaking. That’s why it’s actually a pretty simple concept. And what I want you to do is hear the definitions of these and some of the examples and label yourself right now, here’s the deal. Much like any of these things, you are both or all four.
For example, however, you have a preference, we all do. So your natural lien is towards one of these and you have a combo. And it’s important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in that combo. More importantly, know that about yourself and then quickly identify who’s on the other end of your communication, figure out what their combo is. You might need to adjust and therefore get into more effective communication. It’s going to really improve your leadership skills. Let’s talk about direct. That’s the one I think we can wrap our heads around pretty quickly.
What is a direct speaker? So remember, you have a speaking style, it’s either direct or inferential. So, as a speaker.
If I have a direct speaking style.
You probably know that one. It is. You say what you want. And some people, sometimes we hear direct. It’s that person’s, like, hardcore. That’s not always the case, because an inferential speaker can still come across hardcore. Think about if I’m thirsty, then I’ll say, I would like a glass of water.
If I have a request, I’ll be direct.
In how I state that request. Can you please get me a glass of water? Can you please help me with this? That is a direct speaker. If I have a need or something, I say that directly, I don’t wrap it in something else. Now, if I’m an inferential Speaker, I might say, Man, I’m really thirsty. Oh, my gosh, it’s so hot out there today. Wow. I’m dying of thirst. That’s an inferential speaker. And that can be a couple of ways if you’re an inferential speaker or if you’re on the other side, if you’re a direct speaker, you sometimes might label the inferential speaker as like oh they are too scared to say what they want.
Sometimes that’s the case. Many times, it is built from childhood where they’re in an environment where they were not allowed to express what they want and they were not allowed to ask for what they want or were encouraged not to speak up and be direct. Sometimes it is birth from old fear. Yet now many inferential speakers are not scared to say what they want. They just actually don’t think about it. So in other words, an inferential speaker can be in the state of man. I’m dying of thirst.
It’s really thirst. And you’re not even to the point of thinking like, could you please give me a glass of water? And I’m too scared to ask it’s more. You’re just stating your current observation. You don’t have a request. So sometimes it is like, I’m scared to ask. I’m nervous. I’m going to infer my way there. Sometimes it is not asking for anything. I’m just saying it, and that’s how it is. So which one are you? Which one do you lean towards more common and just write it down.
Speaking, I’m either direct or I’m inferential. Now let’s talk about listening. Listening direct is you got to tell me exactly what you want. If I’m a direct listener, you got to tell me exactly what you want. So if you’re the inferential speaker and, man, I’m so thirsty. You really do want a glass of water. You just don’t want to ask for it. I’m so hungry. I’m so thirsty. I’m so thirsty. And I’m an inferential listener. I’ll be like, oh, yeah, that sounds rough. And it’s like, you’re so rude.
You’re not going to give me glass water. Do you want a glass of water? Why did’nt youdidn’t just ask for a glass of water, I’ll give you glass of water. Just ask for it. That’s a direct listener, like, you got to tell me I’m a little aloof to the hints, or I might miss this, or I might miss what’s going on here. And if you want me to do that, I’ll do it. Just tell me if you want to. Just tell me if you want to go out or if you really want chicken tonight for dinner, just say it.
That means I’m a direct listener. Just tell me and you got to tell me. And that could be frustrating, obviously, for the inferential speaker who feels like they’re trying to convey and it’s not landing. So here we have inefficient communication, right person A attempting to convey idea to person B, and it’s not landing the way it was meant. Therefore, communication breakdown. Now, if you are an inferential listener, then you pick up on cues. You hear, I’m thirsty and you’re like, oh, I need to go get a glass of water for that person.
You may even hear beyond an inference. Maybe the person was not inferring for you to get them anything or do anything however you hear and you pick up these signals and something inside of you. I need to help. I need to take action even to the some extreme of I’m a bad person. If I don’t pick up the hints and go get that done for that person, that’s an inferential listener. You pick up on cues sometimes over pick up on cues. However, you can just hear what’s happening, what the person is saying and piece together their needs and start to think about delivering.
So pause right there. Which one are you? As far as the listener? Which one do you lean towards? Inferential or direct and totally normal to have one of one or one of the other, for example, is probably the worst combination ever to be married to. Probably there’s probably a long list of that. However, I am like an inferential speaker. Believe it or not, some people think I’m a direct speaker. I’m an inferential speaker. I say my ideas out loud. I’m like it would be nice to do this, but I don’t know.
And then I’m a direct lender, so think about to communicate effectively with me. I’m going to hint about what I really would help on. I really would have done. And then yet in reverse, you got to tell me directly or I’ll miss it. I’ll be like, if I say I’m really thirsty, I may actually want a glass of water. I may not be even thinking about it. If you get it from me, then I’ll be super happy and grateful. You just tell me you’re thirsty and I’ll just be like, staring at you.
Okay, that’s tough. Or did you want me to get something that’s me. So it’s probably the worst combination there is. So which one are you? Write it down as a speaker i’m direct or inferential. As a listener, I’m direct relationship-savingor inferential and let’s talk about the combos now, and that’s it. We’ll wrap up today. I want you to think about being more observant on yourself and those around you and then practice after this episode, go practice on people that you’re continuously having breakdown communications with at work or at home and see if adjusting you r style actually fixes communication.
I think this could be very relationship saving for a lot of folks out there. So let’s go through quickly all the different connections. So now you should also think about that person now, maybe the person you have the most communication conflicts with, or maybe your closest person, spouse or closest person you work with, person you have the most communication with and write down what you think they are. Direct listener, inferential listener, direct speaker, inferential speaker. And remember, it may not be obvious, but really, to think about it, like, I could be labeled as a very direct person.
I am direct. However, I am an inferential speaker. I just say things out loud and hence rarely do I just straight up, say, Go do this. I want you to do this. I’m like, oh, you want to do that? Which one? All right. So let’s talk about it. Speaker, direct listener, direct. That combo. That’s an easy one. By the way, what is it going to sound like a direct speaker to direct listener from even a third party or an outsider? It’s going to sound like, wow, it’s very clear.
It’s very fast. It’s very unemotional. Sometimes those conversations, their buyers are like, Whoa, like, I can talk to each other that way, and they’re like, totally fine. So direct to direct. Very clear, very fast, very unemotional. Now, let’s say you are on the listening side of that, and it’s not landing because by the way, it doesn’t land all the time, just in that case, because there could be a loss of context. Remember, in shorter speech, less words, we are hoping on we have enough history together that you can know what I’m saying.
So you might be direct and I might be direct. I direct speak to you. You’re direct listening. Yet if we just matter, we haven’t worked together a long time. You still may not understand what I’m saying. So if I’m the listener in that, here’s, my advice to you is restate what you heard. Double check clarity for that. And then here’s my bigger advice. Add in some gratitude, because what happens is direct speakers to direct listeners. It’s so impersonal unemotional that the relationship actually can be super effective and then deteriorate like that.
When I say like that because it’s gradually, then suddenly. And where that happens is one of the people starts to form a belief in their head that there’s, like, a lack of appreciation or gratitude because remember the beauty. What helps the direct speaker to the direct listener is the lack of emotion be like, oh, I think that color is ugly. You should change it to red you’re, like, cool. I’ll change it to red the lack of emotion. They didn’t receive it as an insult to them.
However, without gratitude or the emotions actually being addressed somewhere else in the relationship. If not here, then one person could start to form a belief of being taken advantage of or not being appreciated. And then suddenly even a direct listener will start to hear that as well. You’re so demanding. All you do is want me to. You don’t care about me. You don’t care about my home life, stuff like that. So a direct speaker, a direct listener. It’s on both of you to occasionally insert emotion.
Normally, we try to pull emotion out of the conversation. You want to insert something like, by the way, you’re awesome for doing that. I’m really excited that you’re on the team. I love we can have these conversations and you just fix it and we’re on the same side of the solution. You’re fun to work with, whatever something like that. Just add in. I’m grateful and I like this. And you’re a good person just to prohibit that belief from being formed. Now, if I am direct speaker speaking to an inferential listener, this one can be dangerous from an outsider or even to the inferential listener.
It can be seen or received as very harsh as uncompassionate. It could be an attack like a personal attack on the person. Back to, hey, that’s super ugly. I think that needs to be red, not green. An inferential listener may hear that as like, you’re a stupid person and you’re dumb and you have poor color choices. You should have never been born. And the direct speaker is like, no, I like you. I just don’t like the color. I’m not talking about you at all. So you got to be real careful on the listener in that situation.
If it’s landing in effectively, then I would encourage the listener in that situation. Don’t hear it about you as a person. If you find yourself getting triggered like this person is attacking me when they’re talking about my work or what I said or they did, I’m going to pause my first reaction of taking a person like, I’m a terrible human being. I’m going to listen in my head for the facts. Fact is, they don’t like green. The fact is they like it changed to red.
Those are the facts. When I added in, maybe about me and me as a person and all that stuff and then do this trick. I call putting the issue as a third party. So, for example, if you and I get into conflict and we’re talking about the color of the website, like, in that situation, they’re green and the red. Or you and I are married and we’re talking about one of our kids. It doesn’t matter whatever the subject is as the inferential listener or whoever is in the one feeling attacked, it’s very important to pull it out of yourself.
And put it on the table in the middle. In other words, and you might have to visualize it like, I’m going to take the content of this conversation, which is green and red. And I’m going to put that as a third party. It’s a different entity, not me. And the person speaking to me has a problem with that. Not a problem with me. Does that make sense? The third entity concept. I call it where it’s like, they’re not talking about me. They’re talking about this other thing.
They’re not talking about me. They’re talking about our kids. They’re not talking about me. They’re talking about they don’t feel like that for dinner. Whatever. Pull that out. Create a third entity, visualize it being in between you and the person. And then if you’re really strong visualize you and the person standing next to each other looking down on this thing, talking about what you’re going to do about it. That should take out a lot of the personal feelings. Like, okay, don’t have a problem with me.
They’re talking about red or green. They’re talking about the website. Now I could stand shoulder to shoulder this person and look at the website and say, I actually thought the green look nice. Talk to me about why you think red is better. Here’s what I was thinking. What are you thinking? And now we’re talking about that thing over there. But we’re okay. So that tends to be a way to cure some of the challenges. The conflict between direct speaker inferential listener put it out in the middle.
Now, let’s say let’s go to the inferential speaker to an inferential listener from an outsider you’re like that sounded like super unclear. They were hinting to each other or it was really effective. It’d be like a code link. I really was thinking about this and this. Okay, here you go. And I’m like what they didn’t say anything about that. They were doing something else. Yeah, but I know what they meant. They meant they really want this. So if you’ve been in one of those relationships, if you’re an inferential listener and you’ve been in a long term work relationship or personal relationship with somebody where you can read their mind, the inferential Speaker’s dream is everybody can read their mind.
I get accused of that a lot. The inferential speaker is that you can anticipate. You can read between the lines and that relationship is super effective to an outside dude, how do you guys do that? How do you know that’s what they were even talking about? Or they wanted that before that. And that’s usually an inferential speaker long term relationship with somebody, and they can read between the lines. They even know what the person wants when the person doesn’t even know what they want, that’s when it’s effective, when it’s not yet effective.
Inferential speaker to inferential listener. Here’s my advice on how to cure that for the listener. Pull it a little bit more direct for the speaker. Same thing. Pull it a little bit more direct. Somebody’s going to have to lean direct. Remember, I hear clarity is the biggest goal because when wires miscross between inferential to inferential clarity is all that’s really needed. In the absence of clarity, it can be very emotional. Remember, inferential listener has a tendency to make it about themselves, has a tendency to make it about themselves.
So you could be hinting at something. And if they received the hint and don’t know how to cure that or what service or what you wanted, a glass of water, how to help you. They actually could wear that. As I’m a bad person, I can’t anticipate their needs. I really feel like I need to anticipate their needs or they may not even hear it at all. And that’s frustrating for the inferential speaker. So pull it back a little bit more direct. Seek clarity. Restate what you heard.
I just want to clarify, are you saying that you’d like a glass of water? Because I’m happy to do that. I wasn’t saying that, but sure, I’ll take one. Or are you saying this? Let me just ask. It’s tough, because if the inferential listener is not a direct speaker, they’re also an inferential speaker. You can see how it’s tough to even do that. It goes against their nature to say, Are you saying you want a glass of water that’s direct where they would normally be like, oh, yeah, I have cups and I could have water, and that could be really weird.
Pull it back. Restate. Get clarity. And you may need to pad emotions just so you’re a good person. Everybody’s fine. This is about this topic, not about you. And even my clarity is not about you. It’s like, about the topic. Are you thirsty or not? I’ll get you some water. Now let’s talk about the inferential last one inferential speaker talking to a direct listener. For the direct listener. For an outsider, even sometimes it’s going to sound slow. It’s going to be a little like beating around the Bush, and it will sound like, here’s the key.
It’s going to come off like just an observation, not a request. This is crucial. So, man, it’s really hot. I’m super thirsty. If you’re a direct listener, like I am. That sounds like an observation. Oh, yeah, it is hot. I know what it feels like to be thirsty. It’s an observation. You’re making an observation. You’re not making a request. So that’s the issue with where this communication can get broken down and they can get real heated. So if you’re struggling in that if you’re struggling, if your significant other or the person you work with the most is an inferential speaker, and you’re a direct listener telling me exactly what you want, I’ll do it.
Just be straight with me. What you’ve got to do is a lot of times this doesn’t come out until in the form of complaints. So it would be like communication is broken down. And if you’re in a relationship where complaining is ruling the day, here’s one thing I want you to remember adn write down. Every complaint was a request that got missed, like, 100%. And there’s not a lot of things that are 100%. This is one of them. Every complaint was an unmet request or an unstated request, usually.
So every complaint anytime soon. Complaining, I want you to program your brain to say what was the request. They may not have actually made it, especially their inferential speaker. They didn’t make a request. And the way to unravel that is actually not to get triggered by the complaint. Like, how many times have you got triggered by a complaint? I get triggered by a complaint that becomes the new fight. I can’t believe you’d say that to me. And now we’re talking about how you delivered and what you complained about or how you attacked me or whatever, when in reality, the whole original conversation is now gone.
It’s lost. So if you’re a direct listener and you’re in conflict with an inferential speaker, don’t get triggered. If you’re in complaint, don’t address how you were attacked, you felt like or the complaining or anything like that, what I want you to do is breathe. Find the request, search for it. Go back like, oh, he or she needed help with this. They actually were him, but they just asked me, no, don’t go there. Especially now they are inferential speaker. They’re not going to just ask you.
So stop trying to fix that. So we’re going to change them instead, search for the request, clarify. And then I can’t believe you that you don’t care. So it could be like, hey, man, I’m so hot outside. I’m super thirsty. And somebody like me who’s a direct listner like, oh, yeah, it is hot outside. Sorry to hear you’re thirsty. And then go on with my day and then say, that was my wife. They would be like, you jerk. You don’t even care about me. I do all this stuff for you, not complaint.
I could start engaging with that instead. Was there a request there? Did you want a glass of water and then go back? I’m sorry, honey, did you want me to get you a glass of water? And by then it could be like, no, forget it or I’ll just go do it. Maybe that’s better advice than asking for clarity. But go and find the request, try to do it. And then I would charge you as an added bonus of relieving the emotions. Make it okay, make them right.
Remember, by the time an inferential speaker is upset, it’s tough because now they’re entering the land of direct and complaints and things like that that’s uncomfortable for them. So it usually ends up being a little bit of guilt happening behind that. And it’s really great if you can relieve that from them by just saying, hey, it’s totally okay. I understand why you’re upset. I don’t take it personal. I just want to help you. I’ll get the water or I’ll change the thing. I’m not taking it personal.
And don’t worry about the attack or anything. I don’t label it that way. Let’s just get it fixed and make them right. Make their emotions OK. Inside of that, I hope this is helpful, and I really hope it is simple if you think about it because only a few combinations here and I did spend a lot of time breaking it down. However, just think about right now and start to label yourself. Which one do I lean towards? You’ll do both. But which one do I lean towards in my speaking, in my inferential direct and what is my listening real deal?
It may not be what you think because you may have been labeled the opposite of your life and you really admit it. I’ve been labeled a direct speaker all my life. The truth is I’m not. I’m an inferential speaker. Then recognize that and I want you to think of the people that you have the most minutes with the most communication with and write down which ones they are, and especially if you’re in conflict with and recognizes this pattern deteriorated over time, and it’s as simple as adjusting to their speaking or listening style on your side instead of trying to get them to change to yours and really improving that relationship.
So with that, I hope this can help a lot of relationships in the workplace and outside the workplace and teach this to your children into the next generation because that’s what we’re all about here is creating generational impact. Thank you for joining the Seth Campbell podcast, and I will see you all next week. Bye, everybody.