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Communication Styles: Is Yours Trending?

      Being a competent communicator is essential in every aspect of life.  Whether it's a manager learning to direct his team, a wife trying to convince her husband, a salesperson trying to persuade a client or a pastor trying to inspire a congregation, knowing how to bring a meaningful message to an audience (collective or individual) is important.  Yet, most of us tend not to treat it as such.  We communicate as we do without much concern for how what we say, write or show comes across to others.  As a result, we miss the mark.  The way we miss the mark is in where the message fails.  Did it offend?  Was it unclear?  Was it inaccurate?  Was it unconvincing?  Was it misunderstood?  
     Since we communicate in a variety of ways, it is important to the communicator to help the listener hear his message clearly and without failure.  Our style dictates the success of that message hitting its target.  If one style is to be direct, then we should get to the point with precision and without offense.  If another style is to be warm and encouraging, then we should be able to make our point and be taken seriously while not being unrealistic in our optimism.  If we're looking for logic and proof as we question others, we must be aware that  not everybody thinks critically and aren't as detailed. 
     Most people will respect that the way you communicate is "just your way" good or bad.  But sometimes your "way" can get in the way of people hearing you without style hindrances.  Being blunt while being direct may cause others to feel like you are trying to control or denigrate them.  Being passive and risk-averse may lead people to believe you're weak or wishy-washy.  Your style is important.  How you show it off determines if others will follow it.  When you think of "style" and what's fashionable, it stands to reason that even when it comes to communications you have to ask, "Is my style trending?"  Would others want to emulate it or see the quality in it? 
     We are going to look at a variety of leadership styles at the new Women's Forum on Leadership on January 14th at the Capital City Club in Columbia, SC.  Women who attend will have the opportunity to receive a free assessment of their style and learn how to make that style work for them in business and at home.  They'll learn how to maximize the strengths that will make them competent communicators and earn them the respect and influence that can be theirs if they are skilled in the art of conversation.  You can be a part of it too.  Call (803) 256-2000 to register today.

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