Communication is the basis of who you are as a manager/leader in business. The rules are simple and the good news is that you can learn them and develop your skills…and it’s quite easy! Here’s the low-down on great Communication:-
The best communicators…
Keep It Simple
Great Communication is about making what you say very easy to understand. Just realise that important messages get across better without loads of technical jargon or 4 (or more!) syllable words. Less is definitely more.
Know Their Audience
It is important to understand that there are different levels of message for different groups of people. This is not demeaning those different groups – indeed, it honours them that you have taken the time to think of them. Be aware of who you are talking to and pitch the message accordingly.
The best Communication is as much about listening, as what you say. It’s the ‘two ears/one mouth’ thing – keep how you use them in proportion. People love it when you listen to them and you will learn much more about them and their situation. Check out Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ – a fantastic little book that’s stood the test of time.
It is important that when you are in dialogue with someone, be it on the phone, face-to-face or in a group, that you give them your full attention. If you go off-message because of interruption or distraction you will lose them and your credibility.
Honour The Audience
All inputs from others is valuable, very valuable. So ensuring that when folks have taken the time, effort and, yes, courage to speak up, that you treat them with respect and gratitude.
Realise Their Responsibility
Getting the message across is the responsibility of the person giving the message. It is no good saying, ‘Well, I meant that…’. You need to sharpen your Communication skills up, if things go wrong and look inside yourself at the possibly mixed messages you are giving and refine them in the future. Learning is good!
By writing up important messages and circulating them, just to confirm. It’s a bit of a chore, but it makes sure that things are really clear – especially great for those who are less auditory and more visual.
You speak with authority and in an easy to understand language – and you captivate. People leave you thinking – ‘hey, I can go for that’ and ‘what a nice guy (or gal!)’ Great communicators have this innate skill.
Build Rapport Easily
It’s like an old friend pops by for a chat. The best communicators truly have a charismatic skill which enables them to settle in very, very easily. Hard to learn, but very noticeable.
Check Understanding Frequently
‘What did you take from that message?’ or ‘Was what I said clear?’. Two simple yet key questions which activate that feedback loop. Never assume that your message is the one that everyone has received – it’s worth checking out.
So there it is – Communication in Ten easy steps. Get these right and it will significantly help your management performance, that of your people and your business overall.