The ability to successfully communicate is predicated on getting the timing right, which will make the listener more amenable to your request or feedback. In fact, I’ll be so bold and say that in communication, timing is everything.
Today I’m sharing how you can be aware of timing your communication right so that you’re more likely to get the outcome you want.
Let’s get to it.
To illustrate the importance of timing, we can turn to the ancient Greek word, Kairos. This means the right, critical or opportune moment for action.
When you’re being sensitive to Kairos, you need to do two things.
First give the listener a head’s up about what you want to talk about. This allows you to get your feet wet before jumping into the freezing ocean. It provides an opportunity for the listener to accept that it’s the right time to discuss, or reject the timing and take a raincheck on it for later.
Next, gauge their mood. Be receptive to how they are feeling. Be mindful of what’s going on in their life at the moment. Is this truly the right time to bring up XYZ? Essentially you’re putting out feelers for Kairos. Should you broach the subject or postpone until a more opportune time.
Imagine you and your partner have just returned from a long trip. Even though it was fun, it was exhausting. You might be ready to plan your next adventure, but your partner might be needing time to decompress and relax after the long journey. Bringing up your next adventure or making new travel arrangements the day you get back would probably not be the opportune moment. The right moment would be after your partner has gotten back into their routine, seems well rested and ready for a new adventure. You could be flipping through the photos you had taken on your recent trip and remind them about all the fun memories you’ve made. As the two of you reminisce about those fun times, then you can bring up your idea of another adventure that awaits the two of you.
A close friend has spent the entire day making an elaborate meal for a dinner party they’re hosting. Knowing that they like receiving feedback on their dishes, you think about sharing some constructive criticism. Would that be the right time to do so? Not really. You run the risk of hurting their feelings and neglect showing your appreciation for their hard work. Instead, compliment them on their cooking, pointing out all the things that went right. If they bring up wanting to have your feedback, make a mental note and tell them that you’ll share that at a later time because right now you should enjoy the food and the dinner party!
Let’s say something has been bothering you and you want to share those grievances with the person involved. But maybe the last few encounters with them you’ve noticed they’ve been short with you, chalking it up to work stress. Give them the benefit of the doubt and tell them that you’re there to talk through anything that might be upsetting them. Once you’ve been able to talk through what’s been bothering them, you can gently bring up that you would like to discuss a few things with them once the stress at work dissipates. This way, you’re showing them that you are giving them some space to unload their stress and when the timing is right you can talk. This puts the conversation topic on their radar at the very least, it notifies them that there’s something you’d like to discuss. Essentially, you’re timing the conversation such that they are in a good mood so they'll be more receptive to constructive criticism and your thoughts. This is especially true for the tougher conversations that everyone has every so often.
Leveraging Kairos to decide when the time is right and searching for that opportune moment will make it more likely for your listener to be open and amenable to what you have to say as well as increasing your chances of getting the desired response you seek.
Be sure to give them a head's up about what you want to talk about either by being direct or alluding to it, depending on their current disposition. And secondly, gauge their mood (did they have a rough day? Do you have an insider scoop as to what's going on in their life right now?) Utilize what you know about them to make a decision as to when and how to broach the topic.
Alright Explearners that’s it from me today. If you liked this video be sure to give it a big thumbs up. In your own experience, how has the timing of conversation mattered? Share that with the Explearning community in the comments down below. And if you want to help our channel continue to grow, share this lesson and our channel with anyone who wants to improve their communication skills and social skills. I’ll see you in the next one!
Happy Explearning :)