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Are Others Hearing What You Are Actually Saying?

Listening is vital during a crisis and we are usually not very good at it. Based on this, Erie is going to spend some time relaying some tips that we have learned over our years of service in the emergency field.

We need to understand that when we communicate, we are speaking to those with preconceived notions. Regardless of whom we are speaking o, we need to recognize that everyone listens through filters. These filters are not necessarily deliberate, but they are there nonetheless. People are listening for something specific. They are listening for what they want to hear from you, not what it is you need to say.

How can you push back against this, and make sure that what you are actually saying is being heard?

1. Take the time to ask questions. If you are concerned that your message is not getting across, ask the listener if they understand. Clarifying our words is a good way to make sure that both parties are in sync.

2. Make sure to match your verbal and non-verbal communication. You cannot say how much you would like input from the community with crossed arms and too stern a look on your face. Remember that people learn more from your actions, than your words.

3. Speak in stories. Whenever you can couch something in a story people, tend to connect with it more than a list of facts or figures.

Communication is hard, and communication during a crisis is even harder. Make sure that what you are sharing, is what is actually heard.

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