Communicating effectively, especially in high pressure professional situations, can sometimes be a balancing act. To some it may feel like you are walking on a thin wire, dangling between two buildings, hundreds of feet above rock hard pavement, with just your nerves and the wind for company. Others may not feel the same kind of pressure, however, they may and most do, feel the the consequences of not performing.
This is where the trade-offs come in. We typically approach specific communication events, situations or challenges by analyzing what it is we really want to achieve? What key do we give our attentive audience to enter the message that we have developed? What face do I want to show? What hat should I wear to maximize my effectiveness in this environment where I do not retain complete control? Therefore we tend to let go of some things and retain others in order to support our own view or approach to what we feel is the most effective means of achieving our ends. This trade-off, is typically a snap decision. A quick calculation that evaluates a host of factors in a split second. Do we speak as fast as we think? Or do we change our voice to reflect this trade-off that we have identified as more important.
When negotiating do I start slowly and build up or do I keep it concise? When forcing through a topic in an internal meeting do I take consideration of the level of empathy for my views in the room before proceeding or do I go with my instinct? These questions in themselves are trade-offs, for simply asking the question creates an opportunity to reflect. A moment to gauge the air around us in those important occasions and develop a greater sense of identity. Not just of ourselves but of the very fabric which forms the communication we share with those around us. How can our message can be interpreted differently if we do not consider the trade-offs that exist in it. It is these trade-offs, the options our message creates in the minds of our audience that can truly influence the perception and actuality of effectiveness.