Sometimes I think about all of our vast array of communication behaviors as being like knobs and sliders on a control panel.
Each one of the knobs adjusts and mediates a behavior: pausing, volume, eye contact, gestures, cadence, pace, vocabulary, etc. We probably have some factory settings (I might even call them default settings), that, untouched, dictate how we behave in most circumstances.
Okay, so far so good.
But what happens when we want to come across in a different way? How can we tweak the settings to reach a different outcome?
As you already know if you have read this blog for a while, the most complete way to change your behavior is to change the “why” of your communication, your intention. But even then, some of those settings don’t move. Volume and the use of pauses, for example, are two behaviors that are tough to shift.
Instead, imagine that control board. Look for the knob that controls your volume. There are numbers or marks around the outside of the dial—just mentally turn it up two clicks. We’re not going to 11 here; we just want to make a meaningful difference in how other people experience our volume.
The takeaway here is that small adjustments to just a few behaviors can make a big impact on how other people hear your message.
What’s on your control board? Do any of your settings deserve a second look?
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