Elizabethkuhnke's Blog

Circular Communication

Posted on: April 28, 2011

The Three Stages of Circular Communication

Listening, learning and leveraging…


The ability to connect with your listener and to communicate with clarity, confidence and commitment is your number one key to success. Sound reasoning, innovative solutions and logical conclusions are rendered meaningless if you fail to persuade, influence and inspire your listener.

During these tough times of belt tightening and cutbacks, clear, credible communication is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. Colleagues, clients and constituents demand transparency, honesty and accountability and with the empowered citizen having choice and voice, frank and candid two-way communication if the only alternative for building relationships and enhancing your reputation within your communities.

Communication is circular; it is not a one-way street. By repeatedly practicing the three steps of circular communication – listening, learning and leveraging – you can gain your clients’ respect, establish rapport, and produce outstanding results.

Listening Actively

In addition to what your customers say, listen for how they deliver your message. Details and data are important in understanding your clients’ requirements and how they expect you to address their interests. The way they speak – revealing their moods, attitudes and emotions – provides you with further valuable information. Turning your antenna and responding to what you observe through their non-verbal behaviour increases your ability to understand and respond to the speakers’ needs and concerns.

Learning to Learn

Soliciting specific feedback and being willing to act on what you hear increases your ability to connect with your customers. By engaging your clients as partners and giving them responsibility for identifying problems, you empower them to work with your departments and agencies as you seek sustainable solutions together.

 Aristotle believed that effective communication is a combination of ethos [the credibility of the speaker], logos [the truth and relevancy of the message], and pathos [the emotional and appropriate response of the receivers]

 Leveraging the Learning

Having listened and learned, now’s the time to leverage your gains. By improving deliverables and performances, you demonstrate that you’ve taken on board what you’ve discovered. By improving the services you offer, you show that you’re responding to customers’ needs. By improving your communication, you display willingness to engage with your communities in positive, proactive, and productive ways.

The Benefits of Circular Communication

Because the pressures and priorities of the public sector shift and change according to circumstances, so do the requirements and expectations of its customers. Nothing is set in stone and agility, flexibility and a willingness to listen, learn and leverage separate great communicators from the also-rans. Circular communication creates trust between and agency and its communities. No long lasting, productive relationship can exist without trust at its foundation.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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