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Home Activities Career Development How to Communicate Effectively?

How to Communicate Effectively?

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Effective CommunicationOne of the most important abilities a Manager needs at the threshold of the 21st century is communication. As a Manager, you spend as much as 90 percent of your time communicating. You talk to your subordinates, listen to them, write and read business letters, talk on the telephone, and attend and conduct conferences. Effective communication is a powerful weapon which you can use to achieve a lot of your organisational objectives.
One of the most important abilities a Manager needs at the threshold of the 21st century is communication. As a Manager, you spend as much as 90 percent of your time communicating. You talk to your subordinates, listen to them, write and read business letters, talk on the telephone, and attend and conduct conferences. Effective communication is a powerful weapon which you can use to achieve a lot of your organisational objectives.

Communication effectively is a skill. It has to be acquired, learnt, practiced and perfected. It is surprising that nobody communicates perfectly. If you observe yourself closely as to how you are functioning as a Manager, how you listen to other people and how you express your views to others, you will perhaps find out that not everything is hunky-dory about you as a communicator. You will perhaps discover that your altitudes and behavior patterns need a lot of change to emerge as a better communicator and therefore as a more effective Manager.

In interpersonal communications, 7 percent of your meaning is from followers' interpretation or perception of your words - that is what you say;

38 percent is conveyed by the perception of your voice - that is how you say the words; and approximately 55 percent comes from their interpretation of your non-verbal signals. As a Manager you need to monitor both the message you are sending - words, voice and non-verbal and follower feed back. Words can insult, injure or exalt. They can lead to costly errors, false hopes or disillusionment. They can evoke pride, loyalty, action or silence and are critical to the influence process. Your voice is a versatile instrument. Through it you can convey enthusiasm, confidence, anxiety, urgency, serenity and other states of mind and intent. Timing when you speak, increasing or decreasing voice intensity, pausing, varying pitch and other aspects of speech patterns can increase your ability to influence others. How you enter an office, how you support your message through gestures and facial expressions, how you imply interest and vitality through eye contact and other non-verbal behaviors affect other people's reaction to you. To the extent possible, your dress and general appearance should reflect a sense of personal dignity and self-worth. They should be appropriate to the context and should reflect your personal and your organisational values.

ESTABLISH PERSONAL BONDS

You will find yourself more successful in communicating with others if you are able to establish a personal bridge across to the listener. You will find that most employees are responsive when they feel that management understands their needs and problems. When you are discussing the cause of a problem with an employee, try to get to the bottom of his worries and use every means at your disposal to communicate a solution. Many employees require generous feelings of the fuel called 'praise' to keep them producing. Look for the oppurtunity to praise people, but make certain that the praise is warranted and given in a serious manner. In every contact with employees, a leader must show his willingness to talk and to understand their problems as well as just giving orders. Encourage each man to open up so that you will be able to understand and motivate him.

TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS


1. Be certain of your objective in communicating:-

Do you want further information?

Do you wish to initiate a certain type of action?

Do you wish to alter an individual's behavior pattern?

2. Be clear in the use of language:-

Explain what you mean as clearly as possible. Use familiar, short words. Your objective is to communicate and not to astonish, shock or overpower the receiver. It is Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity that form the ABC of an effective message.

3. Watch how much you communicate:-

Keep quantum of communication appropriate:- not too much as that might cause boredom; not too little as that may not remove the communication gap.

4. Use appropriate medium:-

Select oral, written or visual medium as you consider most effective for achieving the organisation's objectives.

5. Provide the right climate:-


Remove organisational blocks and other communication harriers. Or reduce their effects by being conscious of their existence. Select the right physical selling.

6. Develop the skill of empathic listening: -

Overcome your role egos and encourage subordinates to speak out. Only in this way can you be certain that you know what he is thinking. Especially at meetings, most speakers are more concerned about the effectiveness of their speeches and the pervasiveness of their presentation. They fail to recognise listening as a leader-ship tool and as the best way to assess the opinions and ideas of others.

7. Watch out for unintentional communication:-

Watch carefully the tone of your voice. Avoid the frown, the bored look and fidgeting. Avoid dictatorial styles of communication (threatening language or raised voices), gestures and mannerisms which may create a negative response.

8. Remember that communication is a two-way process: -

See if your audience really understand what you mean. Remember that silence does not always means acceptance. Ask questions to sec if the other party received and understood your message.

9. Back communication with action:-

Tell your employees what you will do and then do it. Nothing can ruin morale more than for management to promise to do something than to fail to do so. Actions speak louder than words.

10. Provide communication training:-

Improve your skills in oral and written communications. Encourage your subordinates to improve their skills in effective speaking, listening and report writing.

'What you say and how you say it -communication - is the single skill most likely to determine how you succeed in life.
 

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