Have you ever experienced the frustration of a boss taking you task because either the job was late or was not completed to their satisfaction? Before we jump all over you or the boss let’s examine if there was a mutual accountability for this opinion. Did the boss ensure you clearly understood and committed to the job by having you repeat the expectations and timing? On the other hand, did you ensure you heard the message correctly and if you were not sure, did you ask them to be repeated for the sake of clarity? When both the sender and receiver assume the responsibility for clarity, productivity is the winner.
As seen in the example above, communication is a give and take type of exchange. It takes at least two people to effectively communicate; one to send or give the message and another to receive or respond to the message. Both parts are equally important when it comes to perceptive communication skills. If there is a break down along the way in any part of a message, it may result in communication failure and may cause major confusion and a possible loss of productivity.
If you want to ensure that your entire office from the top down to everyone in between are effectively communicating with one another and to your clientele, review these communication guidelines.. See what areas need to be improved upon and apply them to your life and you will be sure to have fewer dropped messages!
Communication is a two-way street
As mentioned above, communication takes at least two people in order for it to work effectively. Not only does it take two people, it also requires that both people are doing both the sending and receiving for clear communication to actually take place. This ensures that the intended message is communicated and that both parties understand each other.
Just as two-way traffic light instills some ebb and flow to help everyone reach their destination accident free, so to does effective two-way communication. For it to flow smoothly, there may be times where one has to yield to another, or may have to stop altogether, but in the long run following proven guide lines, both parties should achieve their objective.
Communication: Keep it simple!
Have you ever been in a meeting where the person talking seems to be speaking in another language? It can be very frustrating for all those listening, trying to decipher exactly what is being said and interpreting it into layman’s terms for the other employees around them who are also just as confused. Keep it plain and simple! It does not mean you are being less intelligent by communicating things more simply. However, it will guarantee that you are able to get your message across to all those in the room. Give this simplifying process some thought.
Simplify. Try breaking your message down into steps or stages, covering one step at a time. Or if that cannot be done, go over the message and see where questions may arise and address them accordingly within your message or during your message. The important thing is that you not only get your message out, but that the message is clearly understood so accountability can take place.
Communication requires active listening.
People tend to associate talking as communicating, and although this is true, it forms only a small portion is of the whole message. One of the fundamental principles of communication is being an inter-active listener. This means that you become inter-actively engaged in the conversation by making sure you understand the message. Become an active participant; ask questions surrounding: who,what, where, when and of course the biggie – why? Summarize, give feedback. This will ensure both you and the sender are correctly encoding the message and are able to tackle the task at hand quickly and effectively. Without this stage, accountability is difficult to enforce or to expect.
Smart communication skills are essential in any relationship, whether personal or corporate. It may take time to sharpen these skills and turn them into a fine art form.
Added to the above learning objective on smart communication is the fact that in most instances, these skills are not inherent in our nature – they have to be learned to become a skill and practiced to become a habit. No different than in sports.
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