114: Effective Communication at Work
Effective Communication Skills for Work
This week and last, I am sharing some of the concepts from a program I created for The Topps Corporation entitled, “What Did You Just Say? – Tools for Active Listening and Effective Communication.”
Last week’s episode was on Active Listening, so today I’ll cover Effective Communication.
There are four steps to the communication process; at any point in that process something can go wrong.
-The words you speak
-What you meant by those words
-The words the listener heard
-What the listener makes those words mean
George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying, “The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
8 BASIC PREMISES OF COMMUNICATION
You are always communicating, even if you are not saying anything.
Everything you say counts. There are no second attempts, editing, or deleting of what you say.
When your words leave your mouth, you have no control over how they are going to be interpreted.
Listeners are constantly constructing or “story-making” – interpreting what you say. (This is the “Understand” phase of the listening process)
Your words are transformed or reorganized to fit into the listener’s personal story or preconceived idea of you and/or similar situations.
There will be more than one story – each listener will create his or her own.
The story that is created from your communication determines the meaning, not what you actually say.
It is the story, not what you say, that will be remembered, passed on, and communicated to others.
THE BENEFITS OF SPEAKING SUCCINCTLY
-Your message will be clearer; less room for misinterpretation
-You provide bite-sized bits of information that are easier to digest
-Allows the listener to more easily make the necessary mental connections
-Saves time and mental energy (for both parties)
-Less chance that people will mentally go elsewhere
THE BENEFITS OF SPEAKING WITH SPECIFICITY
-Gives the listener enough information to understand exactly what you mean – minimizes the chance of misunderstanding
-Allows the listener to create a mental picture of what you’re saying
-Increases the likelihood that you will get valuable feedback.
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