The vulnerability of riding a motorcycle makes it an excellent teacher of communication skills. The immediacy and potential severity of the outcome when others misinterpret or ignore us are great motivators for learning how to communicate our intentions clearly and concisely.
7 lessons for building communications skills
- Make your intentions clear. With so much information coming at us from all directions, it’s important to break through the clutter. Congestion – whether it’s workload or traffic – and multitasking create distractions. Be clear, purposeful, and persistent. Proceed with courage and confidence. 7 reasons for building intent into communications
- Use your signals. Whether you know it or not, you give signals all the time. Clear, explicit messages backed up with clarifying behavior confirm your intentions and make your journey that much more enjoyable. 9 signals that communicate intention
- Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, on purpose and without judgment. Listen to your intuition and let it guide you. 9 aids to mindfulness
- Focus on priorities. You receive many more signals at any one time that you can process. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus. That clutter clouds thought processes, usurps precious energy and muddies communications. 9 steps to prioritize your day
- Recognize your filters. Anything that interferes with the way you send or receive messages affects your ability to make an informed decision. Thoughts, biases subjectivity, cultural training all act as filters and influence how you encode and decode messages. 9 communication filters to know for your safety
- Recognize defense mechanisms. They’re like protective gear, worn to protect you from perceived harm. Although effective in reducing anxiety, they can distort reality, interfere with clear communications and mask authenticity. 9 defense mechanisms – protective gear of the spirit
- Look in the mirror. They show you what’s going on in your surroundings while sharing your reflection with others. Similarly, people at as mirrors, delivering life lessons to you and reflecting back what they perceive coming from you. 9 messages from mirrors
In an ideal world, you would send your message out once and everyone would understand it exactly as it was intended. Realistically, that rarely happens. However, the better you get at clear and consistent communications through whatever medium best reaches your audience, the more efficient you’ll become. That reduces your workload, facilitates good relationships and frees up time for play.