Make sure you are clear about the information or message you are trying to convey. Practise an outcome focused approach. What is it you want to say? Are you clear? When communicating be precise and succinct. Remember, fewer words are better than too many.
Make sure the words you choose are going to support your message. Are your words reflecting the message you want to give? Think anger, control, logic, mature, passion etc – be clear about what you want to achieve from your message – a reaction, agreement or a decision?
Make sure the information you are providing is accurate and not unduly influenced too much by a personal agenda – unless a technical opinion or some form of personal disclosure is essential to helping you achieve your objective. In cases where you want people to act, remember that they may only be able to make a decision if they have all the facts. Check whether you are providing the facts to help them understand your position or argument.
When faced with difficult or time pressurized situations we might be tempted to promise something to win people over to our side of an argument. But remember that any subsequent failure to deliver on hard promises given will generate real disappointment and ultimately erode trust – and trust is one of the fundamentals of good communication. So if you are providing any commitments remember that you must be committed to deliver them.
In any effective working relationship effective communications must be an ongoing process and not an isolated or intermittent activity. So be prepared to answer or follow up on any questions or issues that might have been raised with you. Learn to accept questions and queries as feedback and commit to dealing with them.
If you are new to a management position then a degree of distance from your team can often result. In some instances it may be a good thing to keep a certain distance, after all you are now the boss and some people will view you differently. But at all times be consistent and honest in your communications with people. Stick to your commitments and avoid double dealing. Be fair and credible in your communications and you will find that trust will follow.
Remember we all have a tremendous capacity to receive messages in different ways. We are all influenced by personalities, values, and assumptions. So take time to check out that people have really understood what you have communicated. With flatter and more matrix type corporate structures effective communication is more important than ever. It is vital that we get it right and ensure that we communicate and listen with equal measure.
When communicating with others do:
When communicating don’t:
Remember the facts about communication