3D Communication

When we think of the term "professional communication" we tend to think about things like: How neat and tidy does the communication sound? Are the words understandable? Is it graceful, tactful? Does its tone and content fit with the cubicle fabric walls, auditorium, conference room, or whatever the setting is?

When I train and coach people who want to engage others at a higher level, rather than have their communication blend into the static, I like to use the term 3D Communication. It's a label that helps put focus on how our communication can be used to make a more '3D' impact instead of falling flat. 'Multi-dimensional' communication is achieved by the synthesis of our (1) auditory, (2) visual, and (3) emotional delivery choices. These three dimensions are the key areas that determine how effective, engaging, funny, exciting, or moving our communication will be.

Typically, high performance in two of these communication dimensions makes for powerful communication. Popular radio hosts have the talent to present with both auditory and emotional ability, speaking in a way that engages more people. Dancers present themselves to us by syncing visual expression with auditory music, using their bodily control to drive themselves to great performance. Psychologists and therapists use all three, auditory, visual, and emotional choices to create comfort and safety for a client to want to open up and share. 

As a communicator who wants to influence others in a work environment where people can see and hear us, our role is to inhabit all three of these dimensions as fully as possible. 

Want to get better at making making yourself a 3D communicator? Start by choosing one modality, either visual or auditory, and record yourself communicating in an environment where you want to make a greater impact. What you see or hear is your feedback. What do you think of that person you recorded (you)? What does a friend or trusted colleague think? All personal improvement requires introspection.