~ By Patrick Bird
How many times do we come out of a meeting, whether one to one or in a group, and have confidence that we have accurately received the message that the sender was trying to convey or, from the senders point of view, that the recipients have taken away the intended message?
What are the factors that create this disparity between what the sender of the message is relaying against what is delivered to the receiver and why can the message received be different from one person to the next?
In considering this question I would like to introduce a concept called the ARC of distortion which is best described using a diagram:
Looking at the top diagonal line we can see the sender's intention was to relay a message accurately and achieve their goal of the message being understood in the same way by all recipients. In actual fact what was heard and therefore the Impact of the message was different and resulted in the message being received along the bottom diagonal line (Impact).
The gap between what was intended and what was actually received is the communication gap and is often referred to as being made up of interference or "noise". Consider the coaching equation [Potential (minus) Interference (equals) Results]. By reducing the gap we reduce the interference and improve our results, in this instance the accuracy of our communication, the equation and the relevant coaching methodologies may also be used to improve performance in many other areas of business.
In order to reduce the gap between intention and impact we need to address the criteria on the right of the diagram.
Feedback is a key to understanding the message and is made up of the following factors:
Communication is the lifeblood of an organisation, using the ARC of Distortion and the techniques described above will help you to close the gap and, if done well, will ultimately improve the performance of individuals, teams and of the organisation as a whole.
Best of luck and keep a look out for the next article around influencing, and of course if you need further help or assistance in doing any of the above in your organisations please contact me.
Patrick is passionate that in a very competitive and changing business environment excellent technical skills must be complimented by excellent leadership, personal and communication skills to ensure improved performance and satisfaction of the individual and the organisation. He shares this passion by speaking and presenting at conferences and events around these topics.
Following a successful corporate career and over 5 years as an executive coach, Patrick Bird established InterActive Performance Management in 2009. The aim is to provide medium to large organisations with coaching and mentoring in the areas of communications, leadership, team building and strategy.
For more information about inter-personal, leadership and communication skills to help improve efficiency, effectiveness and ultimately profitability and cost leadership visit InterActive Performance Management