As you might already know, there are different methods of communication; verbal, non-verbal and written methods of communication. But there are also various ways to do the latter in for example, a one-to-one discussion, a discussing in a small group, via phone or nowadays via Skype etc.
Non-verbal communication, like eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice are as important too though, as for instance ‘rolling your eyes’ while nodding your head might send out mixed messages to the person you are talking to.
When writing an email you might do so less formal than compared to writing a letter, but while the first is an easy, quick and free option it might not be as appropriate in some circumstances. Which brings me to an important point; making a choice of the best or rather most appropriate method of communication to meet your needs and the needs of others.
Some aspects you might want to consider:
- Email is a great way to inform other people about progress, but questions cannot be answered immediately, unless someone would constantly be checking incoming emails.
- To speak to someone over the phone is another great way, questions can be answered directly and notes can be taken while speaking to the other person.
- But if more than one person needs to be informed a written report about work progress might be a better option, unless the phone call is a conference call.
- For your business or at work, information about important changes within the company should be communicated in written form, probably in a letter or email.
- To inform a team of workers who work on a new project, you could choose a group meeting, where feedback can be given directly.
So here are my;
7 Steps of becoming a Highly Effective Communicator
1. Treat others with honesty and consideration, everyone appreciates a respectful and friendly atmosphere, by doing so you will gain trust, loyalty and support
2. Listen actively; look at the speaker and focus on what the speaker has to say
3. Let the speaker finish without interrupting him or her
4. Explain the purpose either verbally or in writing clearly and include a reason if applicable
5. Ask whether the other person has any questions
6. Summarise the conversation to avoid misunderstandings
7. Avoid sending mixed messages
8. Ask for feedback
Becoming a better communicator can not only help you at work, but also in your daily life. Understanding how to work with and support colleagues, friends or family members can increase the chances of a positive atmosphere, overall productivity and happiness.
To give you a specific example, when I write website content, I have to agree the theme, word count and deadline for it. It is important, because then I know what is required for the assignment and the client knows what and when he/ she can expect the work. In this case I always chose to have a written confirmation about all requirements, which allows both me and the client to know what to expect from each other.
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All the Best,