It’s tempting to think that when you give instructions, explain a problem, lay out a task, or try to warn someone of a potential hiccup, that the person you are talking to will immediately understand what you are talking about, and hence will make the proper adjustments and take the right actions to avoid any mistakes. It’s an assumption; it may have sounded good in your head, but that doesn’t mean your message was received in the right way.
There are many ways of communicating, and the simple (verbal) way – the way we usually think about it – is really only a small part of it. Are you having trouble communicating with your staff or your co-workers? There are ways to improve this. Here are the major tips and hints on becoming a better communicator in your office.
Know your environment
All offices are different. In part, this is because all businesses are different – they have different goals, different theories on management, and have different staff. It’s also because each office has a different culture, and likes to do things a certain way. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to perfect management and effective communication. Know whom you are trying to communicate with, and discover what the most effective way of doing so is.
Your body language is important
It’s an aspect of communication that is often misunderstood, or even neglected to a certain degree – even though we all agree that the physical gestures a person displays are an integral part of the message. The best way to study body language and learn how to control it is by becoming more aware of your own gestures. We all have them, and we all communicate in different ways. With a little more awareness and some research on body language, we can quickly change the way others perceive us.
You have a message to deliver. Stay focused on the message and don’t get sidetracked with other things, or don’t get bogged down with details.
Remember, there is a reason for communicating – and there is a purpose to the actual exchange of information. If, for some reason, the result is not what you have intended, then somewhere along the line of communication there must have been a breakdown. That’s not to say that it was your fault – it takes two to tango, after all – but it does mean there should be improvement somewhere. Learning how to communicate effectively could solve many of your problems.
To add to this: why not make it a habit to, for instance, record important meetings and conferences, so everyone knows what has gone on and what has been said? Better yet, have these recordings properly transcribed by good transcription services. The professional transcription services will provide you with a finished document, which you can distribute to your staff – it’ll go a long way in helping you get your message across loud and clear.