Some days it feels like there are so many demands from so many different directions that it’s hard to maintain a sense of balance. But if you need some inspiration, I suggest you watch this video. I was drawn to it after reading about Simone Biles, who’s recently become the most decorated gymnast in world championship history. She’s just extraordinary to watch.

What impresses me is not only how incredible her physical balance is, it’s also the kind of balance that must have been required for her to get where she is today. The endless hours of training while going to school, managing injuries, diet, family life, (and sleeping on occasion!) would be so much to juggle.

So, how do competitors like Biles do it? For one thing, they don’t lose sight of the goal, which is to be the best. And they (along with their coaches and trainers) have to have a deep understanding of the balanced approach needed to even attempt to reach that goal.

Good Business Communication Requires Paying Attention to Balance

Good business communication also requires paying attention to balance. All to often we lean too far in one direction or the other; either we’re overeager to share our own point of view or too reactive to really listen. But by paying attention to our own communication habits, particularly in the areas of tone, attitude, and listening skills, it’s definitely possible to achieve a better balance. In fact, if you pay attention to the three areas mentioned, I’m willing to go out on a limb (carefully balanced, of course) and say your business communication will have a greater level of success.

How to Achieve Balance in Your Business Communications

1. Balance Your Tone
When we’re annoyed– or sometimes just in a hurry– we tend to sharpen our voices. Or, in written communication, we choose words that reveal our unsettled state of mind. However, if we wish to persuade a colleague, client, or employer of our point of view, we have to try and find that middle line, where our tone does not reveal an extreme. Many people are sensitive to tone and are not receptive to an impatient or irritable one. So, take a deep breath. Slow down. Make sure your tone is neutral, i.e. balanced.

2. Balance Your Attitude
Negative situations will arise in business, as they do in areas of life. You may have a legitimate reason to be angry in response to someone’s actions or communications. However, the key to achieving balance in a negative business situation lies in your attitude. Hostility and anger rarely improve a situation. But, agreeing to disagree in an agreeable manner, for example, is more likely to improve a difficult situation than meeting negativity with more negativity.

3. Balance Your Listening Skills
If you’ve ever been in a meeting where someone repeatedly interrupts other participants, you’ll know how frustrating and unproductive it can be. It’s because communication is ultimately about the balance between listening and speaking. If you take time to really listen, you’ll have a more informed, thoughtful point of view. (And when you do speak, chances are people will pay more attention to you, because they won’t think, ‘oh, there he/she goes again, always hogging the floor’.)

Of course, this is subtle stuff. All it takes is adding a little weight to one side or the other for your communication scales to get out of balance. But let’s get it into perspective: It’s still easier than two twists and backflips in a single jump on a four-inch wide balance beam!


Do you need help balancing your communications? Contact me at the Language Lab and l’ll be glad to work with you to achieve your communication goals.



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