Some of you know, that I love dancing. Salsa is a dance, but it stands for something else too. You sure have heard about Deming’s circle (Plan – Do – Study (often wrongly stated as Check) – Act). S-A-L-S-A is the communication circle which is built with emotional intelligence
When we talk about communication, we often don’t stop to think about the process. “But I told them what to do” is often heard, when something is not completed as planned. A lot of the communication people do, is not really focusing on the essence of communication. The essence, getting the other person to be motivated to do something, is forgotten. S-A-L-S-A is the process which ensures that communication is having the effect planned.
The 5 steps of good communication are Systematic + Adequate + Listening + Supporting + Authentic. If you lose any of the 5, you mitigate the impact of your communication, perhaps even cause a controversial effect! Mastering communication is also building organizational culture, the true profit maker. Good communication also reduces the leaders workload and reduces people’s stress levels. Good communication is possible for everyone. Some of us may need to boost our influence process, some may have to mitigate it. The most important thing to remember is, that communication needs to be a two way road. If listening is not present, the results will start to evaporate very fast. When you work on your communication skills, then you achieve more, faster and with less effort. This stands for internal communication as well as for communication with customers.
Being systematic is the first step. Good communication is never a single event. With a single event we can raise people’s emotions and interest. But in 99 % of the time, nothing really happens as the outcome of the communication. Yes, a single instruction can have an impact, but even that will last only if it is part of a chain of communication acts. When there has been a systematic solution with repetitive acts on the goals and structures of and organization, then a single instruction can have an impact. Being systematic means that there is a clear weekly / monthly plan on what will be communicated, how it will be done and how the impact is measured. A good example of a systematic communication plan comes from former Kone CEO, Matti Alahuhta. On any strategy implementation, they had a 3 year monthly communication plan. On top of that they had plan on what to do with communication, in case there is some problems with the exution.
What is it for me – the question that every communication needs to address. Being adequate is about ensuring the connection to the other persons context. When the content is built in a way, which answers some need of the other person, is understandable and clear and is not overwhelming, then it will take the other person to action. One of the biggest mistakes is, that there is too much information. “helping” people with putting a lot in one message is not working. The brain is not able to digest tons of new information at a time. There is confusion on what really is important. And there will be subconscious fear of what is going to happen to me with all this. Putting the other person under stress and hence reducing their abilities to learn and use.
Listening in some way and form is needed. Listening is for ensuring that the other person has understood our message correctly. Therefore we must allow the other person to tell us how they understood the content. That is the only way to ensure that we have been understood in the right way. That also builds a proceeding plan in the other persons mind. Listening is not about asking “did you understand” or “is this OK”. As we don’t want to be seen as stupid, most people will say yes even they are not sure.
Supporting the other person is an important step, which you do after the listening. Your listening includes using open questions. Open questions get people to explore the matter, to create solution and through that to gain ownership of the understanding. To support the other person, connect their solution to the bigger picture like “your approach is good, we get the job done and it is well in line with our vision / strategy”. This also supports you main goals and vision!
Authenticity is what you need to ensure. Our brain reads the other people fast and if you are trying to be something else, than what you are, the subconscious mind spots that. It will open the door for doubt and worry. Your message will not be fully trusted, there will be diversions in actions and the general productivity will suffer. Know your personality and use it with authenticity.
S-A-L-S-A is an emotional intelligence solution. With S-A-L-S-A approach you get your own mind to deliver in the best possible way. You also connect with the other person emotions, you build trust, engagement and commitment. You might think, that you don’t have time to go through the process. We have learned that it is the opposite. The amount of time and effort, when not following the S-A-L-S-A process can be up to 50 % higher. Repeated check-up, corrective action and dissatisfied employees eat your time and take hours out from productive work.
Emotional intelligence based S-A-L-S-A solution is a process every one can learn. If you would like to learn more, I am here to help you!
To your success, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence master level trainer. Get in touch now through firstname.lastname@example.org