When I am asked how can congruent communication be achieved, I always have to stop and gather my thoughts before I respond. It seems so second nature for me now that I think everyone should “get it“.
In reality, It took me years to discover what it meant to be congruent. However, once I discovered it, I took to it like a duck to water. It made such sense to me.
In this article, I will walk you through some simple yet meaningful ways in which you can achieve congruent communication.
How Congruent Communication Can Be Achieved
Congruent communication can be achieved by ensuring that everything you bring to the exchange arena, (as I like to call it), is in alignment, This includes your thoughts, emotions, body language and words. I also encourage communicators to pay attention to their environment, energy level and intent. If one of these is not aligned with the messages you want to get across it creates doubt, conflict, confusion and distress.
Managing all of this may sound rather difficult and a lot to take on. However, like everything else, if you break it down into parts, it becomes much easier to achieve.
Starting with becoming more self-aware is important, perhaps critical. You cannot change or improve something you do not know.
In today’s fast-paced and superficial world, neglecting your personal development is an easy thing to do. But doing so can have a severe impact on everything that you have worked so hard to attain.
Learning to communicate congruently is the foundation that will ultimately define the quality of your relationships, success and legacy.
RELATED TOPIC >>>> Begin The Cycle Of Continuous Improvement In 7 Easy Steps
What Does Congruent Mean?
The Cambridge dictionary tells us that congruent means “similar to or in agreement with something so that the two things can both exist or can be combined without problems.”
In other words, there is no conflict or disagreement.
The word ‘congruent‘ actually comes from mathematics and refers to shapes that are of the same size and shape.
Imagine, (looking at the model above), that this is a communication situation. Each triangle represents a different aspect of the whole interaction that you are playing out.
If your communication is congruent, it will look something like this:
You can fill in the empty triangles with other aspects of communication.
What you do not want is this:
Do you see the difference?
Here are three (3) easy steps to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Check Yourself
This might sound obvious but it is not as common as you might think.
Many of us just bounce along without stopping to do any form of self-assessment. If you are unsure, ask a trusted and honest friend. Allow them to be brutal. You want to know the truth.
When you invite feedback, shut up and listen.
2. Pay Attention
Now that you have received the feedback, start paying attention to your communication. Ask yourself some questions.
- What are you thinking?
- How are you feeling?
- Are you moving closer to your objectives or further away from them?
- Is the response from the person(s) you are communicating with what you would like to receive?
Listen with your eyes and your ears.
3. Find A Coach
This was a big help for me.
It is important to invest in your personal development – the soft skills or your emotional intelligence. However you choose to describe it, this is critical for success.
As you move forward in your career, you will find that most of the problems and situations that challenge you are behavioural and/or situational.
Skills such as courage, resilience, understanding and empathy will demand more of and from you.
Getting a headstart early in your career and building those muscles will take you further, longer.
RELATED TOPIC >>>> Is Congruence Important In Business?
Closing Thoughts . . .
It took me some time to learn how to achieve congruent communication.
The journey involved coming to terms with being an introvert and learning to effectively and appropriately manage my passive-aggressive behaviours.
I was not good at expressing or receiving feedback.
In time though, I started to invest in my own development through research, reading, training opportunities and a lot of support from trusted members of my inner circle.
Today, I help others travel that road and I provide the support and guidance that they need.
Life is much better when you are authentic. It brings respect and makes you a much better manager and leader.
How Congruent Is Your Communication?
What about you?
How would you rate your congruency in your communication?
Is there anything that you find particularly challenging or would like some additional information on?
Let me know in the comments section below.
I would be happy to support you.
About The Author
Cassandra is a Management Consultant, Internationally qualified Facilitator, Coach, Strategist and Behaviour Change Agent. She enjoys travelling, exploring cultures and learning about historical and social networks and dynamics.
Her driving force is the education and development of her tween daughter. The roots of her inspiration to diversify her niche markets and the motivation to expand and scale her business investments rest firmly in this relationship.
This is the reason for creating her legacy.