“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” Communication is imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. It is nearly impossible to go through a day without some form of communication. Swapping of information – facts, ideas, concepts, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, instructions and even emotions – between people, are all examples. Communication could be verbal, written or expression through body language.
Communication facilitates the flow of information and understanding between people and departments through use of various media. Flow of information is vital for managerial effectiveness and decision making. It helps people comprehend better by removing misunderstanding, providing clarity and bringing people together.
Every leader knows the importance of communication for the success of the organization. Yet, a surprising number fail in this vital skill. This is a problem. Effective communication brings a leader closer to his subordinates and facilitates a lucid exchange of ideas. The manager who can engage in constant communication can easily remove probable confusion, paving the path to accomplish their common goals. James Humes has said that “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
Practising a few basic steps that can make you an #Effective Communicator –
Be open and friendly. A personal question, or simply a smile, will encourage your colleagues to engage in open and honest communication with you. Being nice and polite in all your communications can personalize your message and make the recipient feel more appreciated.
Identify bad communication habits. The first step is to admit that one does have some bad habits. Only then can we open the route to replace them with habits that are effective. One has seen people fiddling with their phones, pens, papers, when colleagues walk up for discussion. Such behaviour needs to change.
Choose the method of communication that works best. Too many meetings could be a waste of time. A flood of email messages might bury you. Understand that longer meetings are not necessarily better meetings, that an instant response to a bunch of email messages is not necessarily the best response, and that your preferred method of communication may not work for others.
Expectations to be cleared. People can’t know what your expectations are if your communications are not clear, constant and consistent. Do that, and people will be much more effective and productive.
Be concise and precise. Good communication means saying just enough – don’t say too little or talk too much. Convey your message in as few words as possible. Say what you want clearly and directly, whether you’re speaking to someone in person, on the phone, or via email. Think about what you want to say before you say it; this will help you to avoid talking excessively and/or confusing your audience.
Create positive partnerships. Build people up. When you hear employees and customers complaining about something, there’s probably a reason for it. Check it out, construct positive collaborations and work together to develop lasting solutions.
Speak up. Speaking out builds confidence. Self-reliance helps to make one more effective and a powerful agent of change. Once you stop holding yourself back, you become more influential and have a genuine progressive effect on your environment and the people around you.
Be known as someone who communicates in a truthful, honest, and straightforward manner . One is far more effective when you “tell it like it is,” instead of beating around the bush.
Don’t blame or make excuses. Focus on looking for solutions.
Accept mistakes. They happen. However, when we get all defensive about them, then we’re not moving forward. Acknowledge them, learn from them, then bounce back and try again.
Avoid word traps. How you say things is often as important as what you say. Avoid generalizing like -“ALL our customers hate that idea.” Own your communication by using “I” or “You”. Dodge unsure statements like saying “I guess,” or “I wish”.
Be a good listener. It is the surest way to be a good communicator. No one likes communicating with someone who does not take the time to listen to the other person. If you’re not a good listener, it’s going to be hard to comprehend what you’re being asked to do.
Seek feedback. The purpose of communication is defeated if feedback is not taken from the receiver. Confirmation that the message has been received in its right perspective fulfills the object of communication. Feedback needs to be sought only in the case of written communication. In case of verbal communication, the feedback is immediately known.
Eye contact is important. Positive body language emphasizes that you are focused on the person and the conversation. Non-verbal signals convey how a person is really feeling. For example, if the person is not looking you in the eye, he or she might be uncomfortable or hiding the truth.
People watch their superiors & colleagues closely and then respond to their orders or instructions. Lazy and insincere superiors fail to garner support for themselves and their instructions usually are not taken seriously by their subordinates. Adhering to the above principles will make communication effective, minimize the human relations problems and increase the overall efficiency.
A quote from Yehuda Berg which sums up very neatly, the power of and need for communication – “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
#EffectiveCommunicator, #methodofcommunication, # positivepartnerships, #concise, # precise, #goodlistener.
Atul Kailash M., is a V.P in a Reputed Organisation and a Management professional based out of Mumbai. He has a wide exposure to various forms of business enterprises within India and outside and a firm belief in positive action, form the basis of his writings. He can also be followed through his blog – ‘Circles In The Sand’ @CirclesInTheSand.info