Have you ever received or given ambiguous instructions? Do you always provide information through memos or other written communication? Are poor cooperation, lower productivity, tension, gossip and/or rumors the results?
Experience shows that there are many ways we can enhance our communication
skills. For the next 30 days try some new techniques and follow
the tips for good communication listed below and see the difference!
Communication is a two-way process. The speaker gives information
and the listener provides feedback. If the listener does not provide
feedback, then the speaker must ask for it. Example: As the
listener, paraphrase what you hear the speaker saying or ask questions
to clarify. If the speaker asks for feedback, he/she might say, Awhat
are your thoughts on this proposal?
Understand that not everyone is going to agree with you. Respect
other people’s ideas.
Communicate purposefully. Think about what you want to convey
and ask yourself if your message is clear. Ambiguity is generally
caused by failure to be specific. Example: Instead of
saying, I need this report next week, say what you really mean,
AI need it Monday morning. In the first example, the employee
may operate under the assumption that any time next week is fine, but will
fall short of your expectations when the report is not completed by Monday
Be reliable. Managers and employees who lack credibility fail to
create open lines of communication and inhibit the growth of
trust. For example: If you say you are going to
do something by a certain date, do it. If something beyond your control
interferes with accomplishment of the task, tell the person before the
due date to avoid catching them off guard.
There is no substitute for face-to-face communication with employees.
Written communications such as memos, electronic mail and posting items
on a bulletin board are not as successful as personal contact even though
they are all effective means of communicating some types of information.
Really listen to your employees and colleagues; acknowledge their input
and show respect when they speak. People tend to feel more a part
of the team and will be more productive. Example: Ask questions to
show your interest and acknowledge feelings.
Providing current information to employees helps them to feel like an integral
part of the organization. Withholding information fosters distrust
and allows rumors to perpetuate.
The following examples provide you with tips to improve your communication
skills and cites examples of barriers to avoid in your communication with
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
1. Listen attentively
2. Ask questions and invite questions
3. Provide feedback to others and ask for feedback
4. Be tolerant of others
5. Be honest
6. Demonstrate respect by being open
7. Clarify your own ideas before communicating
8. Communicate purposely - Focus on your real message
9. Consider the timing, setting, and social climate
10. Acknowledge the other person’s perspectives and explain your own perspectives
11. Consult others when planning to communicate
12. Be cognizant of your tone, expression, and receptiveness
13. Demonstrate empathy
14. Have a sense of humor
15. Look for a common goal (s)
16. Ensure that your actions support your communications
17. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
18. Communicate not only for today, but for the future as well
OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
1. Poor listening skills
2. Lack of interest
3. Lack of trust
5. Power struggle
7. Inability to understand the other party or no desire to
understand the other party
8. Avoiding the issues
9. Mechanical problems - inadequate PA system, problems with
10. Language barriers
11. Low self-concept
13. Inaccurate assumptions