Are You Communicating Effectively in Your Business?
The communication process involves the exchange of a message or information between two or more people. For the prosses to succeed, both sides must be able to receive the information and understand each other. The flip side of that is also true. If something impedes the communication process for some reason or if individuals cannot make themselves understood, the communication will be more likely to fail.
Thus, each and every element of the communication process is important because each aspect has the power to affect the process—in both good ways and bad ones. The process goes in a circle—sender, message, encoding, communication channel, receiver, feedback, decoding— and the feedback can create a new message, which keeps the process going continually until someone ends the process.
Choosing the communication channel should be based on the situation and the information. The sender and receiver should have a good understanding of all the channels, so they can use the right channel at the right time. Why? Not all channels are a good fit for all situations and all time periods. Personal (1:1) communication, written methods, broadcast media, and electronic communications are examples of communication channels. The most popular or used channels are personal channels and electronic channels. Personal communication is one of the richest channels of communication. Body language, facial expression and voice tone of the speaker help to deliver the message to the recipients effectively. It's a great channel to handle complex or emotionally charged messages because the channel allows both the speaker and the recipients to clarify any confusion, and receive answers to asked questions instantly.
Electronic communication channels such as emails, social media platforms, and the internet are examples of electronic communication channels. This channel can be used to create a conversation group with a team, share updates and news, and call for action. It is a less personal method than 1:1 channel, but it is very effective.
Channels could be missed use sometimes. For example, calling or setting a meeting just to share news about a special event that is happening, or sending a message (email or on social media) to trying to solve a situation.
You should also be thinking about what communication barriers you can minimize or avoid. One of the most common barriers to communication is industry jargon. And every industry has its own set of words and phrases that are used by people who work in a certain area day after day. While using these words can seem more effective sometimes, industry jargon is usually confusing for those outside the field or those with little or no professional experience. Especially, using jargon or highly specialized language not only makes messages more complex than needed but also makes it more challenging for people to understand important information.
Given that, you should try to avoid jargon and break down abbreviations. For example, while someone in marketing or sales may know the term “KPI" (which stands for “key performance indicator”), an employee in product development might not know that KPIs are values that organizations measure to decide how well they are reaching specific business goals. Taking the time to explain the term can help to ensure that everyone understands the message. Plus, doing so also helps people feel more involved, strengthens their confidence, and allows them to be present and productive.
A leader should always strive to create a clear and strong communication relationship with everyone they work with, which means providing the best times and ways for others to communicate with you. Also make sure to be clear and easy to understand, and simplify your message if possible. Being mindful of those aspects is very helpful for ensuring your business communication is clear.
Communication is a life skill that can be either learned or natural. So part of understanding your own personality is knowing your strengths and weaknesses, to better do the role that is assigned to you and have a better plan for self-improvement. With communication, that means what? – understanding whether you’re a good communicator and ensuring a smoother communication process with the tips above, and learning how to be an effective communicator if it’s not something that comes naturally to you?
*What tips or advice did I miss? What helps you be a strong, clear, and effective communicator? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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