Communication is Key

Listen here

Communication is the knitting which holds organisations together,- and the thread which keeps coming apart…it is the greatest single influence on organisational effectiveness, and in most occasions, it needs a lot more effort from many than is realised!

One of the challenges is assuming that others listen! It is not easy to listen, even for a minute or two, without translating or working on, the information we are receiving as it arrives. Some of us, in typically distracting working environments, might wait 20-30 seconds without doing some editing. That may be 20-30 seconds longer than some of our colleagues! Worse than that is the tendency for those of us in the listener role to jump ahead of the incomplete message with possible questions or answers!

What then has to change!

An effective communicator is one who is engaged, considerate, and really listens to the other person… taking the time to ask questions and respond accordingly…then when they speak, they are clear, confident, and in tune with the other persons emotions and feelings.

Active listening is vital and involves paying close attention to what others are saying and asking clarifying questions to demonstrate interest and understanding. It also involves considering what the others may not be saying!

Being open and honest is also key… It is best to approach workplace communications with an open mind. You should accept that you might not always agree with someone’s point of view but try to be sympathetic to their perspective and always show respect. This way, you can disagree amicably, and avoid causing rifts that may affect future work.

Empathy involves a shared understanding of others’ emotions, which is critical when it comes to communicating. If you understand how or what someone is feeling, you can assess how to best communicate with them, and choose the right approach.

When we communicate, it’s also worth considering what you want to achieve…and how will you know when you have got there? This particularly applies when negotiating or in conflict resolution.

Finally, how are you going to communicate…in writing, or in person, and then perhaps by phone? Whichever way you decide, be clear and concise and make sure that you clarify your message to avoid misunderstanding. Listen, listen some more and never stop!

Communication is critical to relationships in all that we do.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw