Introduction: The Kookaburra is an amazing communicator, so let’s learn how to speak like one!
The kookaburra is one of the most popular birds in Australia. Just like you might need to, the kookaburra is able to adapt quickly and change the way they’re communicating depending on the environment. One of the most important tools you will need to use when communicating in a business environment is adapting to your audience. If you’re leading a meeting with the safety department you won’t speak to them the same way you would speak to the financing department. Be sure to make your speech clear too, you want your staff to be able to understand and be engaged with what you’re saying – no one listens to a kookaburra and walks away wondering what laughed.
It’s not all in the speech.
Before we ever learn to speak, we learn to communicate with our body language. This communication technique is extremely primitive and is the one communication method that ties us directly to other species! Body language can be used to help emphasise points, enforce beliefs, and maintain audience engagement. You’ve heard the saying “It’s not what you say but how you say it”, and while that might not be completely true, we can still learn from it. Just as a kookaburra would puff his chest before he speaks, you need to stand tall too. Being confident in what you’re communicating is essential if you want people to listen.
Another aspect of communication that you need in your arsenal is active listening. Being engaged with your staff, hearing what they’re saying and asking and answering questions are all aspects of active listening. When your staff are speaking up during conversation, maintaining eye contact and asking them questions will show them that you are interested in what they have to say, strengthening your relationship.
Don’t be territorial – this is the aspect of a kookaburra you shouldn’t take notes on. If you are defensive during a conversation, you will make it clear to your staff that you don’t respect them or care to hear what they have to say.
Ask, Ask, Ask.
As well as listening to the questions your staff have, you need to ask questions too. Probing your staff will ensure they understand what you’re saying and seeking feedback on your communication will allow you to improve any areas where you might need improvement! Your colleagues will be more than happy to help you improve your soft skills.
The kookaburra is arguably Australia’ s most loved bird, take some notes from them and become the most valued communicator in your business.