What is effective communication?
Communication is the art of conveying information. Effective communication is essential for positive personal and professional relationships, and professional development and growth, and business success.
When we communicate, it is important that others understand our message. Being understood allows us to align mission, values and goals with co-workers, supervisors and customers. We can share our ideas and discover solutions.
How do we communicate effectively?
Effective communication in the workplace is important as we need to exchange ideas and convey information with many individuals to meet our individual and shared needs. It is challenging to communicate effectively with the many different styles and personalities we work with every day, and doing so is necessary for career success. Here are 10 tips for effective communication:
1. Be decisive.
Be clear about your thoughts and ideas, even if others disagree. Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in.
2. Be specific.
Elaborate your position by using specific, descriptive language. Quantify your position whenever possible. Instead of, “your tardiness is a problem”, say, “you were late 3 times last week”.
3. Be concise.
Don’t over explain. Say it once, elaborate only if necessary, and leave it be.
4. Trim your hedges.
Leave out the following hedging language: I think, really, sometimes, just, somewhat, kind of, sort of, maybe, might.
5. Be confident.
Don’t minimize and undervalue your experience and opinions. Avoid using phrases such as, “I’m not sure., This is probably a stupid idea, but…, I thought, maybe…” You don’t know everything, but you do know something!
6. Own your beliefs.
Your perspective is unique, and influenced by your experiences, thoughts and feelings. Don’t assume what is true for you is true for everyone. Your beliefs are your own and you’ll go a lot farther in communicating if you take ownership of your beliefs. A good start is using “I” statements.
7. Share information.
Sharing information promotes trust. When you share information, people will open up to you and be more inclined to share valuable information with you.
8. Address concerns.
Acknowledging complaints and addressing concerns directly can diffuse conflict, and guide solutions.
9. Make a common call to action.
Speak to shared goals and values and you’re more likely to be heard.
The point of communication is to convey information, not change attitudes or opinions. Speak your mind, and listen to what someone else has to say.
I love your comments! What’s your biggest communication challenge? Have you learned something new? I want to hear from you!
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