Humans are naturally social beings, meaning we love interacting with one another. It is both a psychological need and a survival requirement. Can you imagine a World where we cannot interact with our fellow humans? All our technological advancements would be for naught and may not have materialized without human interaction. It makes sense then that if we communicate, it needs to be meaningful and mindful. But how do we achieve this? How do we ensure that we communicate clearly and practically?
Communicating clearly and meaningfully is not a special talent reserved for a select few. It is a skill that strong leaders and seasoned communicators have practiced continuously and mastered. And you, too, can master it. It is a human need to find the best way to communicate your idea or view to another person or group, but actualizing this need isn’t ingrained in our DNA. We have to learn it, and a lot of work is required to master it.
You can master the skill by applying the techniques that great leaders and effective communicators have used and are still using to communicate clearly and meaningfully. When communicating with our team members, we must remember they do not have access to our knowledge and information. So there’s a need to break down the information into digestible bits. If our instructions or views are clear, then the reason for the communication has yet to be achieved.
Suppose you’re looking to improve your communication skills and avoid situations where your conversation with someone is seen as a discussion vs. dialogue situation or a discussion vs. negotiation scenario. In that case, the tips below will help you.
1. Convey Your Thoughts Clearly
Managers or heads of different departments at our workplaces usually give instructions believing the message has been passed. But, the issue is that their message needed to be clearer for the receiver. An effective communicator speaks clearly and distinctly to the receiver and ensures that the message is received by seeking feedback from the recipient. The feedback may come in the form of asking the recipient to confirm or reiterate what the speaker has said, then approving and giving clarification where necessary.
It is also important for such speakers to remember that they’re not talking to their senior colleagues. They should reduce the use of ambiguous terms and not personalize the message. Another way to ensure that your message is passed and understood is by asking solution-questions.
2. Use Non-Verbal Cues
Communication is a two-way street. It is an exchange between the speaker and the recipient. When the recipient has yet to receive the message as intended by the speaker, the message has not been passed. To increase the chances of the message being passed, the speaker has to adopt non-verbal communication skills. For instance, you can’t give positive feedback with an unhappy face. Doing this passes mixed messages and makes the message you are passing unclear. So, you don’t have to just adopt verbal cues. You have to use them appropriately.
3. Carry Everyone Along
Being in charge of a team can be difficult, and communicating so that everyone, regardless of their level of concentration or understanding, gets the message is even more difficult. However, it can be achieved. Before you pass your message, slow down, look around and be conscious of the people you are addressing. If you notice them dozing off to sleep or yawning, they’re bored, tired, or even worse, disinterested. It means that you have lost your audience.
You have to review the best way to pass your message across. Before you start addressing them, it is best to sit down and pick the best delivery method. This could be by email, social media, or phone call. Always remember to ensure your message is received by asking questions for clarification and seeking feedback.
4. Effective Communication Method
Although every communication method is meant to achieve the same thing, some are more effective than others. The effectiveness of a communication method depends on the recipients. Therefore as a leader, it behooves you to find the communication method that works best with your team.
In the workplace, some of your team members may better understand the message you’re putting across if it is shown in numbers and facts. In contrast, others will grasp it better if it relates to real-life happenings. To better communicate with these two groups, you should find an approach that suits their needs.
Communicating clearly and mindfully requires constant practice and reviewing some bad communication techniques we have learned over the years. In the past, it might be effective to communicate to your team arrogantly, but in modern times communicating in such a manner is simply ineffective and will not bring the desired results.
As a great communicator, you must ensure your message is understood. There’s no better way to do that than by asking clarifying questions and requesting that the recipients summarize what they have heard. This will give you an idea of what you have been able to put across and what you need to reiterate.