Effective communication is one that includes clarity in expression and exchange of ideas and emotions. It is an art to get your message across successfully. To get a message across clearly means that the thoughts and ideas are communicated clearly and there is no miscommunication between the sender and receiver. Effective communication is the most vital component in today’s corporate world.
At your workplace it is important to keep in mind that it is an office. You are in office to play a certain role and the communication objectives are very clear to ensure that you are able to do justice to that role. While being formal with superiors happens more by design than choice, it always helps to keep a formal tone at the workplace with your juniors too. This is a huge psychological booster as the minute you transcend to an informal space, you cannot ask authoritatively for accountability on results.
Remember that when in office, the communication has to be strictly professional. So, you must have proper documents of all the points to be covered while communicating with other employees. Best communication starts with good planning. Include everything that you want to communicate, as missing out on even a single important point might create a problem.
In such a scenario where everyone is connected with everyone else, how you communicate and get your point across has the potential to make or break your career.
People squander away a great point by over explaining it. Think carefully what you need to say, avoid using ambiguous words and jargons. Also, be transparent – people respect those who speak honestly without any hidden agenda. Consistency is the key; you are entitled to change your opinion but do it too often, and others will only dismiss your views.
The ability to listen carefully to what someone else is saying is a vital communication skill to have. Listen to each other. If you constantly talk and rarely listen you have failed.
Adopt a problem solving mind set, rather than a negative confrontational one. When negative language is used, it puts the receiver on the defence, right from the start focus on the issue is lost and it becomes personal. Instead phrase it as ‘we have a problem.’ Put a positive spin on the message you wish to convey. No one likes to be told that they are wrong. However, if genuine and heart felt appreciation is shown it makes the criticism more palatable. It’s not personal at the end of the day business is about diversity of opinions and your opinions will not find acceptance always.
Choose your medium carefully:
Plan and choose the most effective communication channel like e-mail, notice board, team meeting, teleconference and so on. Communication is verbal (words), visual (body language) and vocal (tone). While researchers may have affixed percentages to each of these aspects to explain effective communication the fact remains that each of us has to find our own mix. For instance, a certain employee may have a strong personality and excellent body language but use fewer words to communicate. Others may rely completely on verbal communication and feel that they are better on the phone or e-mail than in person. We all need to play on our strengths at the workplace.
Personal discussion is the foundation of communications. Once this foundation is established it enables all the forms of communication. All conflicts ideally should be resolved only in person; never on phone or e-mail.
Without the ability to communicate effectively, you cannot accurately convey messages, let others know what you think or feel, build partnerships, motivate others or resolve conflict. Thus, it is paramount to get your message across with utmost clarity.
All the communications we send through face to face, e-mails, memos (written) should be in a simple language meaning one should be able to understand the communication objectives. It is not necessary to use the medium of prose or poetry akin to literature. One must be able to understand the message the first time. This is applicable not only to the boss but also to an assistant in a junior position. The simple language and brevity will help to achieve the communication objectives easily.