News: May 2012
New communication technologies such as e-mail, mobile phones and text messages are fantastic and are of real benefit to businesses. However, we now assume that our emails always go through, our documents are always attached and that our texts are always received. This may not be the case. Sometimes business people need to consider how best to communicate within the office and with clients. With the amount of technology at our fingertips, the art of effective communication is often forgotten.
Before you pass information on to others, make sure that it is accurate and complete. This sounds very basic, but when you assume that the other person knows what you are talking about, you provide an opportunity for your message to be misconstrued. If communication is not clear, confusion can result.
Asking for clarification is a sign of a great communicator. Never be afraid to ask questions to confirm that what you are hearing is the message the other person is trying to convey. Asking questions also tells the other person that you are listening, that you understand, and that you are solidifying what you have heard.
Meet Face to Face
E-mail and telephone calls have their place. However, if you need to communicate with a colleague in the same office, why not go and have a conversation directly with the person? Much of our communication today is done without even seeing the person who works just a short walk away. A five-minute conversation can help them understand exactly what is required and avoid confusion.
We have twice as many ears as mouths for a reason. Listen as you look at the other person and focus on what they are saying, not on your next meeting, your to-do list, or what you want to say next. Good communication involves both speaking and listening. In addition, when you are communicating with someone, let them know that you are listening through your body language and responses.