Convey Your Message Clearly

One of the quickest and most powerful ways to grow personally and professionally is to improve your ability to communicate. Effective communication involves two methods of transmitting information:

  • Writing, which includes handwritten notes, typed memos, letters, and E-mail
  • Verbal communication, which utilizes the power of the “spoken word,” including sending the message (speaking the words) and receiving the message.

Improving your skills in both methods of transmitting information – writing and speaking – will enable you to use more of your potential, to develop skills and abilities that may have lain dormant, and to interface with people more effectively. Without good communication, you accomplish only what you can do alone, which inevitably is only a fraction of what you can do in joint effort with others. Improving your communication skills will enable you as a team member to contribute even more to your work group, and ultimately to your organization’s success.

Communication is the ultimate human connection. It is the key to success! Improving your communication skills will provide you opportunities – and rewards – in your workplace and in your personal life far beyond what you could even imagine.

Essentials of Good Communication

Communication is the process of developing shared understanding. If only one side understands the message, communication has not taken place. Only when verbal, written, or physical messages are understood by both sender and receiver does communication actually occur.

What is required for communication to occur? First, someone must send the message. Second, someone must receive the message. Third, the best words must be chosen for relaying the message, and the best method for delivering these words must be selected. If one of these three elements is missing, communication cannot take place. For example, suppose you send a message, but no one receives it. Or, you may have a receiver and a message, but a poor sender. In either case, communication cannot take place. Alternatively, you may lack a message altogether.

Good communication assigns each element a unique role or responsibility. Good communication is defined as developing appropriate, shared understanding through verbal, written, or physical messages. The role of all three elements must be clearly defined:

  • Sender: The role of the sender is clarity. The responsibility of the sender is to identify the goal of their message and to formulate it with words that best accomplish that goal.
  • Receiver: The receiver’s role is to understand the message through careful listening, asking probing questions, or seeking detailed explanations. Unfortunately, the role of the receiver is often overlooked or minimized, but understanding the message is essential for effective communication.
  • Delivery method and choice of words: An appropriate, successful message embodies the right words and appropriate delivery. Often, the choice of words depends upon how the message is to be delivered. Give close attention to the best words to use and the most satisfying delivery method for sending them.

Each of these three elements has a responsibility; when one of the elements gives up or fails that responsibility, communication breaks down. To be successful, or, in other words, to get the desired results, the message must be put together with thought and skill. In addition, the most appropriate delivery method for the particular message must be selected.

When you learn to use these three elements skillfully, you will earn untold benefits, including increased respect and understanding from others, improved relationships with coworkers, family, and friends, the satisfaction of doing your job better, and so on. Improved communication and success, of course, never come looking for you. You must work at becoming a better communicator.

Communication is important because you want people to act on your suggestions; you want to understand another person’s feelings and their situation; and you want to be understood. Communication is the ultimate method for conveying or securing information.

Leadership Management® Institute
Reprinted with permission

Strategic Essentials is a Managing Partner for Leadership Management® International, Inc.
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