Hints & Tips Blog

How effective is my communication?

Businesses increasingly use technology for their business communications. Unfortunately, this can often include one-to-one and mass mailing of important updates. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for both, but as a business leader it is as important to consider the method of communication and not just the content.

Email is great for communicating large volumes of information, action points from meetings and to circulate agendas ahead of a face-to-face meeting. It is very useful and effective for delivering a business update to a wide audience, where you want to put across to a large group a consistent message. It can also be used when praising a team’s collective performance with an appreciative note.

However, too often I see it used by business leaders to save themselves time and in the mistaken belief that the task is to deliver a message to someone, and that once it has been sent, the task is complete. This is not the case. A recent study suggested that under 10% of what you absorb in communication is written; the remainder comes from other elements such as body language, tone and context.

Good business leaders need effective communication skills and effective communication is two way.

Here are our top tips to help you on the path to more effective communication:

  1. Use verbal communication to maximise its effectiveness by taking the time to speak to someone. Explain what you want to get out of a conversation and ask them too.
  2. Make more use of voice tone and volume. To re-enforce a key message speak softly and slowly, speaking quietly encourages someone to listen to you more intently.
  3. Listen. Giving someone else the time and opportunity to speak often allows them to develop their own thoughts. It is also a very powerful tool in the development of new ideas and in developing solutions to problems.
  4. Interact with them. Let them ask questions and clarify their points by reflecting on what they have said. Remember – it is what they hear that is important to them and not what you say.
  5. Clear the workspace in front of you when you plan to speak to someone to show them that they are important.
  6. Don’t get distracted and avoid looking at your phone or other electronic devices whilst they are speaking.

There is nothing new here, but by increasing your awareness of situations and what is the best method of communication will greatly increase your effectiveness.