Updated: Aug 13, 2019
A few days ago, I attended a webinar titled The Neuroscience of Client Engagement. In this article, I’d like to share a few lessons I learned about neuroscience that again and again bring us back to the idea how important the quality of our communication skills for our success at work.
Lesson # 1:
We are so busy with tasks and processing information every day (and night) that we have delayed understanding of how we feel when we are doing something. There are different channels through which we receive information, and interpersonal communication is one of them.
Interpersonal communication is a work task, and it is important to remember about it for several reasons I will outline in the next paragraph.
We cannot say that we communicate well just because we know how to talk. Communication involves strategy all the time, every time, whether it is a part of our job assignment or life wellbeing. The way we communicate defines how we perform. The quality of our communication influences the quality of performance of our colleagues. The stakes are high all the time, every time.
There are numerous factors that affect the quality of our communication with others (which is a whole different topic I will cover in the new few posts), and sometimes, we need a guide to properly communicate in particular situations. The good news is that there are self-navigation programs that can help us to better communicate what we need to communicate in a particular situation (Check out our Self-navigation guides for communication situationsTM.).
Communication is a thoughtful activity which uses our brain energy. It is, like any other task, redirects our attention from monitoring how we feel physically and mentally. Usually, we can identify the state of our mental and physical wellbeing only after we perform the task. Some, however, have an ability to do a self-check while they are performing the task. Monitoring our emotional and physical state requires us to engage into a thoughtless activity.
You may ask: “How can I turn off my thoughts?” The best way to do it is to redirect yourself to a physical activity even as simple as walking and breathing. Other effective thoughtless activities that would help to regenerate your brain are playing an instrument, cooking, cleaning, or organizing your work space. Remember, if you want to perform to the best of your ability, it is mandatory to take a break from tasks during the day and to let your brain regenerate.
Chatting/venting with someone is not what is going to let your brain relax. Remember, communication is a task for our brain, not a thoughtless activity. This is a mental work that modifies, creates, manages our relationships with others. So, take a break from communication and enjoy a silent activity to let your brain rest.
"Neuroplasticity" is a term all of us should learn about. Our neuroplasticity is directly related to the way we learn and adapt to change.
Our ability to adapt is directly linked to our ability to learn new information, process it, and perform based on the learning experience. Communication is a huge part of our task performance: the quality with which we communicate with others, the quality of relationships we build with our colleagues is a mirror that reflects how well we adapt to tasks and perform them.
I hope post gave a food for thought. As always, feel free to leave your comments.
(If you want to learn more about adaptation and performance, check out this article.)