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TopicHow to Develop Effective Communication Skills

  • Fri 18th Aug 2017 - 9:14am

    Eighty-five percent of effective communication is something other than the words we say. Studies have shown the influence of tone and body language to have greater impact on in-person communication than the words we choose. Effective Communication The old adage "It's not what you say, but how you say it," is true.

    Key-points to focus on for Effective Communication:

    1. Sending the message doesn't necessarily equate with comprehending the message. While we believe our message to be clear and concise, the results do not always follow. Verify and confirm that there is mutual understanding.

    2. Meanings are held in people, not in words. Words can mean different things to different people.

    3. Communication is not about the speakers intended message -- it is about what the listener perceives. Perception is reality. In asking the question "Why are you solving the problem that way?". The intent can be perceived as judgmental, but if you rephrase it to say, "That's interesting can you explain your thinking to me?" Hear the difference? Seek to be less ambiguous in your communication; leave less to the interpretation of the listener.

    What are several barriers that impact our ability to have effective communication? People have different values, experiences, personalities and roles, that lead to different interpretations of what is spoken.

    What action steps can you take when speaking to enhance effective communication?

    Be specific: Who, What, Where, When and Why, address the key points and be concise. 
    Take responsibility: Understand the impact of your attitude, the use of "I" invites dialogue, "You" invites rebuttal. 
    Be adaptable: Be aware of the differences with your audience and be willing to adapt your approach. 
    Check for accuracy: Listen for understanding.

    Remember, communication is a two-way process. It is not just sending Effective Communication your message but how it is received and understood. On that note I am asking for your feedback on this topic. Effective Communication has been of keen interest to many of my clients. Do you have specific issues or challenges that you would like addressed on this topic? Please let me know what you think. Thanks for your feedback.

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