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The communications process is a component of every aspect of life. Organizations are made up of people, and communications patterns are complicated. Let me take a moment and introduce the concept of “over-communicating.” It is vital to over-communicate in all we do—both online and offline. Note to reader: Communications involve all processes between sender and receiver, so this does not mean we simply talk or write more. The goal is maximum communications efficiency and effectiveness (green quadrant) as per the “E” Model below.

Our world is noisy, has a short attention span and moves rapidly by nature. In consulting with organizations and speaking to many groups across the country, I ask the following questions to individuals: What level of competence is your communications? How effective are they? How efficient are they? Let’s look at the four common stages of communication development:

1. Unconsciously Incompetent
The first stage of communication development is referred to as the unconsciously incompetent segment. In this stage, a person is not aware of what he or she knows. In this stage, many people think they know more than they do and tend to overestimate their overall knowledge, skills and abilities. This can be dangerous.

2. Consciously Incompetent
The second stage of communications competence is that of being consciously incompetent. In this stage, a person is now aware of how much he or she knows or does not know. It is during this second stage that people realize their need to learn, grow and improve, and are no longer over-confident.

3. Consciously Competent
The third stage is referred to as being consciously competent. This is a good place for a person to be. In this component, people not only are effective at what they do, they are aware of what they are doing well. So, think of people in this third stage as those who are committed to lifelong learning. These individuals are good communicators, but still need to think about it … and realize they must continue growing to reach the highest level.

4. Unconsciously Competent
The fourth, and final, developmental segment is referred to as the unconsciously competent segment. A person in this stage has become so competent that he or she no longer must think about his or her communications strategies in detail. Simply said, these people’s competence are ingrained and come as second nature. This should be where we all want to get; albeit, with the understanding that we should never stop learning.

What level of communications competence are you in? How far are you from reaching the 4th stage? Are you an effective and efficient communicator (top right green quadrant of “E” model) who “over-communicates” to ensure the receiver clearly understands the message?

Let’s connect and discuss ways we can work together. I can help you (in simple yet tangible ways) reach both the 4th stage and also become an effective and efficient communicator. It make all the difference in achieving more success in every part of your life.

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