Tips for Effective Communication
Effective communication is essential to ones career growth. It includes both conveying messages clearly and receiving messages clearly from others. Communications skills help you when presenting a weekly report to your team, completing a sales call to a possible client, emailing your boss, or chatting with coworkers. Although each situation requires a unique approach, there are some general communication tips that apply to all types of audiences.
Tip #1: Know the topic you are discussing. If you are giving a speech to a large group of people, be sure you are familiar with the subject. Or if you are sending an email to your boss, be sure to understand what you are asking or discussing. Your audience can easily pick up on a lack of knowledge and will not value your communication if detected.
Tip #2: Know the audience. There is a big difference speaking to a work friend in the break room and discussing a deal with a customer. You want to adapt to the situation and match your communication to the level that is needed. Not to say you should change who you are but understand that what you know and do not know about the audience. Are they knowledgeable on the topic? Do they have cultural differences? What are their expectations from you? How much do they know about you? These are the types of questions you want to ask yourself before deciding on a communication technique.
Tip #3: Use the right communication channel. These include face to face, telephone, video conference, and written (email, letter, memo, etc). If you are discussing a confidential topic, you would want to be sure you use a method that reaches only a qualified audience. If you are reporting on a long, in depth subject, a phone call might not allow proper interaction. Maybe graphs or displays would work better in a face to face meeting.
Tip #4: Be to the point, positive, and polite. Do not ramble on about unnecessary information or personal references when they are not needed because the audience will become distracted. Reflect the news, even if bad news, in a positive light. If you begin speaking negatively, people tend to get their back up or become worried about the topic. They will then pay less attention to whatever else you have to discuss. And, always remember your manners, they go a long way. An audience will become more receptive if they are treated well and feel respected. Being rude will create an instant barrier that is tough to get through.
Tip #5: Listen. Communication is not just about you talking, it is receiving information and feedback from others. Whether you ask a question and the audience is answering, you send an email and the recipient I responding, or you are getting the opinion of others in a team meeting, be sure to listen fully. If you do not comprehend what they say, ask questions or for them to repeat it. Listening will help you clearly understand your audience so that they will clearly understand you.
Communication skills can be learned overtime through your experiences or you can take part in a communication skills training. Many businesses or organizations offer training to their employees or members so that they can present themselves effectively.