“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw
So, what is effective communication? And, how do I as an individual become an effective communicator?
Effective communication is about the exchange of information so that everyone gets something valuable out of the exchange (whether it be a conversation, an email, a presentation). To be an effective communicator requires just a few simple guidelines:
- find common ground and make a connection
- be positive and friendly
- actively listen and observe
- be clear and concise
- be aware of your body language
- don’t overreact
Practicing effective communication skills in the workplace creates a positive and encouraging atmosphere for everyone. It helps reduce stress and frustration and increases productivity and moral.
Making sure rules and expectations are clearly understood and making work fun helps keep workers motivated and productive. Setting challenging and reasonable expectations and practicing openness and compassion shows you are human.
Honest interest and curiosity about the potential in everyone you encounter during the “communication” process demonstrates approachability. Speaking with positive sentence structures encourages people to be more interested in what you have to say.
Listen to others, don’t just hear them. Acknowledge and observe others and consider the situation fully by understanding, gathering and confirming information before making decisions. Make your message timely and effective.
Professionalism is very important. Remove emotions from the equation and don’t overreact. Clear and concise instructions, rephrasing and repeating, posing questions and the use of visual aids helps to ensure your message is understood.
Managers need to share the big picture – be transparent – and let employees know what goals you are aiming for. Be sure employees have the tools they need for the job. Trust your people, build trust by treating everyone s as individuals with different needs and personalities. Autonomy breeds innovation and job satisfaction.
Written By: Nita Wilding, Assistant Controller
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