Communication is a fundamental need in every aspect of life. Just think of the times lack of communication or miscommunication has led to misunderstandings whether in your personal or professional life. Having the ability to communicate properly helps you build better relationships and makes things relatively easier, which is why you need to make sure that you have sound communication skills.
Are you communicating effectively?
As a leader, the way you communicate creates a big impact in how people see you and relate with you, especially at work, where you are expected to be professional at all times. In the office, even the way you communicate requires careful thought and consideration: which medium are you going to use? Do you go by the email route? Should you talk to the concerned over the phone? Do you call for a meeting? Are you saying too much or too little?
Why do you need strategies for effective communication?
All organizations need to have effective communication, whether internal or external. Effective communication allows you to build your company culture, manage your organization’s policies, resolve business conflicts and encourage employee performance. The bottom line: If you want to achieve success in your business, you must learn and master different communication techniques and strategies and lead your employees to do the same.
Basic Strategies for Effective Communication
People communicate differently; each individual has his own preferences. As an employer, you need to find the balance between how you communicate and how your staff respond to the strategies you use. But no matter what your communication style is, the following basic guidelines will help you become a key communicator:
1. Don’t just hear what the other person has to say; listen. Communication is a two-way process that involves the message sender, the message, the receiver of the message, and the feedback. This is a loop that only functions when both sender and receiver listen and respond accordingly to the other. Communication is not just about talking; it is also about listening, understanding the message, and providing an appropriate response. This seems elementary, but a lot of miscommunication stems from the inability to really understand what the other person is saying.
2. Improve your nonverbal communication skills. Communication is not only about what you say, but also about how you say it. Your body language, your facial expressions and your other nonverbal signals send strong messages. When what you say and these nonverbal cues do not match, your audience may have doubts about the truthfulness of your message.
3. Know the communication preferences of your audience. As previously mentioned, the communication styles of your staff vary; it is up to you to determine which channel would work best, and what methods will ensure best understanding of your message.
4. Be clear in everything you say. Every person has his own filters. More often than not, your message is not received the way you intend to deliver it. So make sure that your message is clear and is not open to various interpretations. Remove doubts by verifying and confirming if you and your audience are on the same plane.
5. Be direct and concise. Everybody is busy, so go straight to the point. There is no sense giving background information if your audience already knows what you are talking about. Of course some instances call for more information. Make sure you know when you have said enough so as not to waste time.
Although basic, these effective communication strategies serve as the foundation for other strategies that you can use in communicating with your staff and in building a culture of communication. By doing such, you ensure positive outcomes for your business.