When we talk about communication in the workplace, we’re talking about changing behaviour. The key point of communication is to move people to do something. However, we only ever have absolute control over ourselves, so how do we change the behaviour of others through communication?
The key is to communicate in a way that makes people not just see the need to change their behaviour, but leaves them actually wanting to change their behaviour. How do you do this?
The number one way to do this through communication is by being curious. Anais Nin said, “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” You need to be able to see the world through the eyes of that person in order to understand what motivates them to act in a certain way. Once you understand their beliefs about the world, you can empathise with them. When people see that you understand them, it creates a connection. When there is a connection, then you can discuss behaviour change in a way that ties in with how they see themselves in the world. At that point, most people can be influenced to take action and change their behaviour on their own.
On the flip side, you get the following:
No beliefs = No empathy
No empathy = No connection
No connection = No action
No action = No behaviour change
If you want to change people, understand why they are the way they are now first.