Communication-Where Has It Gone

by Doug Lawrence

Communication is so critical in everything that we do. We need to communicate in our personal and professional lives. The degree to which we are successful in carrying out that mission is dependent on our ability to be able to communicate effectively. Effective communication is a large part of effective mentoring. Effective communication is a large part of relationship building. Those relationships are either personal or professional and, in some cases, can be a little of both.

We communicate in a number of ways. Technology plays a huge part in how we communication today. We get caught up in emails, texting, instant messaging, video chats (Skype, Google Hangout, etc.) as a means to establish that communication link. The best way to communicate is still in a face-to-face situation, which can include using technology for a video chat.

I find it quite interesting how communication has become such a common theme that we explore through the many mentoring relationships that I have. In some cases, I have been asked to communicate by email only, and I struggle with that concept at times. It is so easy to mask thoughts and feelings in an email exchange. It is difficult to build that trusted relationship when it is premised on email exchanges. I have been asked by some of the folks that I work with whether they can accomplish what they need to do in an email or telephone call, and I will typically steer them to setting up a face-to-face meeting. There is nothing better than showing how important a person is by finding time in your schedule to have that face-to-face meeting. You can also better prepare for that conversation and interpret how that meeting is going by observing the body language and tone of voice.

One of the things we talk about is the use of proper breathing techniques to clear your mind so that you can prepare for the conversation. We want to use mental imagery—visualization techniques to visualize the conversation taking place before it actually does. You will play out a number of different paths that the conversation may take and what your responses will be. All of this is done while maintaining a positive attitude. Part of effective communication is being prepared for the meeting.

The other part that we talk about very often is active listening skills and listening for trigger words in the conversation that may suggest the next set of questions to ask. There is a technique to doing this effectively, and people that master this become effective communicators, which is a function of an effective mentor.

Working with an effective mentor to establish good communication skills is a worthwhile journey. If you are unsure of how important this might be, think of the number of relationships that you have had on a personal and/or professional basis that could have been enhanced with better communication. Take the time to find an effective mentor and develop those much needed skills of an effective communicator. Embrace the power of mentoring – can you afford not to?

About the Author: Doug Lawrence

Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC® a Human Resources solution provider. He has over 30 years of mentoring and leadership experience in both federal and provincial environments as well as the private sector.

Doug was instrumental in launching the first Provincial Human Resources mentoring program in Saskatchewan and has worked with the HR Association in Manitoba to launch their Human Resources Mentoring Program. Doug is a member of the Advisory Boards for and Futures Institute Inc. and the Program Advisory Committee for Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology. Doug is a member of the Board of Directors for the Nigeria Canada Forum.

Doug was instrumental in developing a curriculum to train people on how to become effective mentors. He has also created an International Certification for Mentors. The curriculum and the designation are accredited by a 3rd party and are ISO compliant. TalentC is the only Accredited Training Organization in the world today that can deliver the International Certification for Mentoring program. The curriculum is Gold Seal Certified by the Canadian Construction Association and has been pre-approved as a recertification credit provider with HRPA, BCHRMA, HRIA, SAHRP, HRMAM, IPMA and the SHRM (HRCI) in the United States. Doug is a Certified Mentor Practitioner and a Certified Mentor Facilitator.

Doug has presented on mentor related topics that demonstrate the business value that mentoring can bring to an organization. Doug’s passion is contagious. He is committed to helping organizations and people be successful and has dedicated his life to the coaching and mentoring of others.