Do you wake up in the morning and think about what actions you need to take for yourself and the people in your life?
Chances are, yes. And this is most of us. We think, what do I need to do today? We get dressed, we go to work, and we do all the things we believe will create positive results for ourselves and others.
Actions are valuable, and they have a way of showcasing where our priorities lie. But what if we told you that how well you speak and listen each day is also largely determining the state of your relationships and the outcomes in your life?
Actions Speak Louder Than Words?
At Fluency Group, we believe the old saying “actions speak louder than words” is only partial true in the era of social media . In the way that words must be backed by action, action must also be backed by words that work.
Whether it’s conveying an idea to your coworkers, helping your kids with a science project, or interacting with a cashier at the grocery store, how you communicate impacts the level of success you’re experiencing in your life.
How Well You Communicate Can Save Lives
To illustrate just how much our communication skills matter, consider these 2016 statistics from Fierce Healthcare:
Poor communication was cited as the primary reason for over 1,700 hospital deaths and was estimated to have contributed to an industry loss of $1.7 billion. Speaking and listening effectively doesn’t just save projects, businesses, and relationships—it literally saves lives.
Spoken Language is your Superpower
In a recent “Sway” podcast featuring Jane Goodall, she reveals what she believes separates human beings from chimpanzees and other animals: spoken language.
Goodall states, “Once we developed this spoken language, we were for the first time able to bring people together to discuss problems…that triggered an explosion of our intellect that has taken us to the moon, to Mars, that’s helped people understand the place of the planet in the galaxy and the solar system…”
These thoughts from Goodall illustrate not only the importance of language in distinguishing man from animal, but also what becomes possible when we use it effectively as a species. We should master how to use this gift of language.
Skillful speaking and listening skills help to:
- Deepen understanding
- Strengthen relationships
- Build trust and respect
- Establish healthy boundaries
- Foster a culture of belonging
- Resolve and prevent future conflicts.
A study by Towers Watson found companies with highly effective communication had 47% higher total returns to shareholders over a five-year period (mid-2004 to mid-2009) compared with companies with less effective communication practices.
When we develop the skill of communication, we’re awakening potential that can help transform our communities and our world for the better.
Instead of only asking yourself what you need to do today, make it a habit of asking yourself what may need to be said and heard today.
Improving your communication skills comes down to one key factor: practice. But not all practice is created equal. Check out our video practice platform, Fluency Speak, to learn more.