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Oh yeah… is that so!

November 1, 2014

Closeup of a happy young woman smiling isolated on white backgro

Have you ever got a message from someone that on face value seems reasonable and should be true, but there’s something that you can’t quite put your finger on that makes you doubt the author is being entirely truthful?

While not mentioned in any medical textbooks, we do all seem to come equipped with what are commonly known as ‘BS detectors’ that alert us to potential or real untruths!

It doesn’t take much to trigger our ‘BS detectors’. It can be a slight contradiction from what has been previously communicated, an over-emphasis on one point or maybe there’s a gap – something isn’t being said.

As a business leader, the last thing you want to be doing is triggering any BS detector activity!

Irrespective of whether your communication is truthful or not, if your audience thinks you’re not telling the truth you’re eroding their confidence and trust in you which ultimately impacts on your ability to perform in your role.

So how do you keep your audience’s BS detectors indicating true?

By keeping your communication open and honest, two-way and frequent. On the face of it, those four words are pretty straightforward, but here’s what they mean in terms of communication:

Open and honest – while being truthful and operating with integrity should go without saying, its important to remember this means being open in telling the whole story, not hiding or being selective with information that doesn’t necessarily show you in a good light. While the temptation to avoid saying the ‘bad’ stuff at the time can seem appealing, being exposed or being forced to own up later that you were aware of that missing piece of information is way, way harder.

Two-way – Communication is only effective when it goes both ways. Always ask for feedback and take the time to listen, assess and apply the feedback to future communications.

Frequent – Saying something once is never enough. In today’s world ever more crowded with communication messages, repetition is key is to your message being heard, understood, trusted and ultimately acted on.

Keep these basics principles of good communication top of mind and they’ll stand you in good stead when you’re communicating. And they may even hone your own BS detection skills!

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