Have you seen the popular cell phone commercials where in the middle of the conversation, the call gets dropped due to poor cell phone service?
One of the best illustrations of this was when a newly pregnant wife calls her out of town husband to give him the exciting news that he is going to be a father. Little does she know her husband is hooting and hollering on the other end of the line because the call has been dropped. You can only imagine the thoughts that are running through her head as she begins to worry when there is no response from her husband. This is an excellent example of missed communication.
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 good communication skills. If there is a break down along the way in any part of a message, it will 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 with your clientele, review these communication skills. See what areas need to be improved upon and apply them to your life – 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 of those people are doing both the sending and receiving for communication to actually take place. This ensures that the intended message is communicated and that both parties are being understood.
Just as two-way traffic has some ebb and flow, so does communication. For it to flow smoothly, there may be times where one has to yield to another, or you may have to stop altogether, but in the long run, you will reach the desired destination.
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.
Simplify. Try breaking your message down into steps, 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. The important thing is that you not only get your message out, but that the message is received with clarity.
Communication requires active listening.
People tend to associate talking as communicating, and although this is true, it is only one half of the equation. One of the fundamental principles of communication is being an active listener. This means that you become engaged in the conversation by making sure you understand the message. Become an active participant; ask questions. This will ensure that you are correctly encoding the message and are able to tackle the task at hand quickly and effectively.
Good 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. Meanwhile, as a well known proverb goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, do it again!”