In an escape room, as in real life, being a great communicator can be helpful in getting things done swiftly and practically. But communication is a learned skill, one that often takes some practice. Here at The Real Escape, we have compiled a list of the 5 best ways we have found to be an effective communicator.
Starting off the list is probably the greatest virtue you could ever master. By our very nature, humans are emotionally responsive creatures, especially when stuck in a pressured environment such as an escape room. When working in a team, you need to be able to get your thoughts across in such a way that makes the rest of the team want to listen and act on them. This is where managing your emotions can be an asset.
If you come across as aggravated or annoyed, your team will be less inclined to listen to you. If you act anxious about the task at hand, they will turn to someone more level-headed. If you’re able to keep your head clear and not let the pressure get to you, you will be able to communicate much more effectively with anyone, in any situation.
It’s better to give 100% to one thing than 50% to two things. If you keep your mind focussed on a singular task, you’re more likely to have a higher informed (and correct) answer. When you split your attention between multiple puzzles, your thought process can become muddled and you end up mixing up important information, or missing it all together! People will listen more to a well-thought out answer than one that is a passing thought amongst several other ideas.
If you can show your team you are able to keep on track until you’ve found a solution, they’re more likely to have greater respect for what you have to say.
To get people to listen to you, you have to have the platform to be heard from. And sometimes, this requires a little bit of assertiveness on your part. This could be anything from speaking louder (but not shouting aggressively), to taking on a leadership role. If you believe you have an important thought to share, take the risk and make sure you have your team’s attention. A good way of doing this is by being respectful – a simple ‘oi, listen to me!’ isn’t going to cut it. Instead, try saying “I think I have the answer. Do you want to try it?” If you’re aggressive in your approach, people aren’t going to take you seriously and will reciprocate the tone.
PAY ATTENTION TO NON-VERBAL SIGNS
Communication is only 7% verbal, and 93% non-verbal. The non-verbal component is mostly made up of body language and tone of voice, though can also mean posture and spatial.
Non-verbal signs are both conscious and subconscious, so it can be hard to fully control how your team perceives what you’re telling them. However, there are some signs you can pay attention to and control, to become a better communicator.
First, watch the tension of your body language. If your movements are sharp and forceful, and you walk around without much aim, it’s very clear to your team that you’re aggravated and the pressure is getting to you. Try to move around the space calmly and with purpose, and this will show your team that you have a clear head. Another thing is tone of voice. Try to keep a low, composed voice, and people will be more inclined to listen to you.
BE A GOOD LISTENER
Often the most under-appreciated talent, listening to others is vital in being able to communicate with them. Why should anyone listen to you if you refuse to hear them out? Even if you believe them to be wrong, give them the time and space to talk it out. Even in a time-sensitive environment such as an escape room, every person is worth listening to and every solution worth exploring. More heads are better than one, and they could have the other half of the solution that you’re missing. Expand your horizons and take care to make sure everyone has a voice, and they will do the same for you.
Everything written in this post is important in helping you become a better communicator. Communication is a hugely important skill in anything you do, so take the time and effort to better improve how you interact with those around you.