Humans are born communicators. Before we become verbal, we’re very effective at sending nonverbal messages and cues. Inside organizations, we still communicate with words and gestures — in person, via video, online, or over the phone. Regardless of its form, effective communication is the grease that lubricates our business relationships, employee interactions, and performance management efforts. After you read the article, download our free e-book 7 Essential Strategies of Highly Effective Communicators to get the strategies for effective, powerful communication.
First, learn basic principles of communication to increase awareness of your personal communication style and role. Second, learn and practice seven simple strategies for participating more effectively and powerfully in the communication process.
The Basics: Principles of Communication
We all have a role to play
First, all communicators — no matter what they say or how they say it — play a role. We are either senders or receivers. The sender is the person (or people) who “sends out” a message. This message could be written or verbal, electronic or paper-based, formal or informal. The receiver is the person (or people) to whom a message is communicated and who, in many cases, provides feedback concerning the message.
Remember that communication can happen whether or not a sender intends it to. Once the receiver receives a message, that’s it. The sender can’t “un-communicate” a message. This fact underscores the importance of cultivating a greater awareness of your personal style and communication tendencies.
Good communication is a shared responsibility
Responsibility for clear and effective communication is shared by senders and receivers. On one hand, senders must do their best to communicate using clear and concise direction. By listening carefully to the receiver’s feedback, the sender also can confirm that the receiver understood or “decoded” the message the way in which it was intended to be.
On the other hand, receivers should seek to confirm their understanding of the information senders have shared with them by paraphrasing or asking questions. It’s important for receivers to understand that their role in the communication process is an active one. As such, receivers should remain actively focused on, and engaged in, whatever communication is being directed towards them. They must conduct themselves as active participants, not as passive recipients.
The free Seven Essential Strategies of Highly Effective Communicators e-book offers concrete ways to make your employee and peer communications more productive, as well as the worst behaviors to avoid. To read more and get the strategies for effective, powerful communication, please download our free e-book 7 Essential Strategies of Highly Effective Communicators.