Have you ever had a challenge with communicating with another person?

This is one that we hear all the time that is a big issue. How to really effectively communicate with one another? As a matter of fact, research shows that the cost of poor communication within organizations is an average of $26,000 a year per employee. Like, it is astronomical. I used to be a little doubtful of that particular research, but I have come to believe it is true, 100%. Poor communication results in people becoming disgruntled, turnover, loss of sales, it just goes on and on, mistakes and perhaps operations together.

On the other hand, when you have highly effective communication, when you’re really on it, things go great. I mean, fast communication, accurate communication. The question is, how do we do it? And so I’m just gonna talk about three things today that you can do that helps improve communication, especially in our relationships. And so if I were to give this a title today, it would be “Communications on a Scale of 1 to 10.”

And so, here is my first one. It is a great way to communicate with another person and especially somebody that’s close with you because what we’ve found is often these principals are most difficult to live in our personal lives with our own families, with a spouse or a partner or children. And so one really great way to improve your communication is to ask how they’re doing on a scale of 1 to 10.

So, for example, part of my personal vision is to help my wife feel like a 10. And so what I regularly do, periodically do, is I will ask her how she is feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. Now, she doesn’t like doing 1 to 10. As a matter of fact, she’ll just say, “Hey, I’m doing fine.” Well, I give her a little encouragement, “Be a little more specific.” And we have fun with this, by the way. But start with safe areas, so, “How are you feeling on a scale of 1 to 10, physically?” “I’m feeling like a six or a seven.” Well, that tells you quite a bit, doesn’t it? Because remember, as highly successful leaders, and that’s what we wanna be, becoming your best type leaders, it’s difficult unless we understand how people are really doing or what the circumstances really are.

“Okay, how are you doing on a scale of 1 to 10, mentally?” Okay, gives a number, “Well, I’m doing okay.” That might be the number. You learn to read what “okay” means, start putting numbers with that. “Okay, well let’s see now. How are you feeling on a scale of 1 to 10, spiritually?” All right, good, then you get some feedback. The next one that I like is…you have to be a little careful of how you ask it because if you say, “How are you feeling on a scale of 1 to 10, emotionally?” That may be way to broad, too big of a scale or a spectrum. Now you’ll have to play that out for yourself and see what works for you.

But another good way to do it is, “How are you feeling on a scale of 1 to 10 on the happy meter?” In other words, how are you feeling? “Well, I don’t know.” And, “Okay, so what do you think, if you were to try to put a number on it?” “Well, I’m at about an eight,” or, “a four,” whatever it is. Well, that gives you the information so that unilaterally what you can do is do things to start moving that trust meter over and help them get to a better place. So regardless of whether it’s an employee, a fellow worker, a family member, this is a great way to start.

Another simple one is a single sheet of paper with “Continue,” the words “Continue,” “Start,” and “Stop.” “What kind of things do you want me to continue doing that is working well? What type of things do you want me to start doing that we’re not currently doing that would be better? And what kind of things do you want me to stop and that doesn’t work?”

Now, these are ways, simple tools of communication we can use to get to a better place. So it is so wonderful to be able to work together with you, to learn together with you on these important things. So give this a try. See if it doesn’t help you get to a better place in your communication, to get to a best of type communication level, to improve happiness, and joy, and feeling, and prosperity, to increase the trust levels.

This is Steve Shallenberger with Becoming Your Best Global Leadership.