Communication is crucial to both individual and organisational success.
On this page we focus upon some key techniques, to improve the way you plan and conduct your communication. These technqiues can be applied both internally and externally.
Good communication enables to you to get your message across and achieve more of your objectives. It enables you to increase your confidence and how you work with others.
For a full copy of the hints and tips click on the link to download the PDF.
There have been a lot of ideas about Active listening these vary from taking notes through to making noises. True active listening is the ability to hold back our response to a given situation until:
Active listening requires all of our attention. Since our minds can interpret words three or four times faster than people speak, we should use the spare capacity to understand, sort and organise, validate, etc., the information we are receiving. Active listening involves four levels no higher level being reached until the preceding level has been given sufficient attention.
Understanding body language is very much an art rather than a science. If you are able to understand and read someone else’s body language, it gives you a great opportunity in the way you respond to them. When you are interpreting body language you have to consider all the signals they are sending. Taking one element in isolation, means we will misinterpret the message. A classic misinterpretation is when someone folds their arms, most people consider that the person has gone on the defensive – wrong! It could be opposite, that they are being aggressive, or relaxed, or cold, or comfortable.
Self-confidence is having the belief in oneself to be able to handle most situations in your life. It is about trusting yourself and having a sense of self-reliance. Confidence is much more than just a positive feeling - it’s an attitude and an approach to life that leads to success, motivation and new possibilities. It is about being true to yourself.
It is vitally important that we ensure our message and communication to others is confident and powerful. This means being aware of the language we use. We often talk about being Assertive. Assertiveness is confidently expressing what you think, feel and believe. Non-assertive speech is a reluctance to express your views and aggression is expressing yourself in ways that intimidate, demean or degrade another person.
If we want to be effective in our communication, then we need to ensure our language is grammatically correct. It is easy to get into bad habits and once we do these habits become engrained. With our friends and family, it can be acceptable to be more relaxed in the way we communicate. In the work place, we need to ensure that we get our language and therefore the impression we make correct. This applies to both internal and external communication.
Planning a Communication
Communication is at the core of all organisations. The more important the message, the more we need to plan. This ensures that our communication is successful. If the message is complex, then we need to plan in more detail and make sure we are thorough in our approach. Before any communication that is of value, ask yourself:
Neuro-Linguistic Programming – NLP
We all process information differently and create our own internal interpretation of an event or occurrence. We all know that a map is not the real environment; it is a representation of a location at the time it was drawn. Similarly, when an event occurs we store this in our memory by making an internal representation through our senses. The predominant senses we use during these storage and retrieval processes are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic (feelings and emotions). To a smaller extent, the smell and taste senses are also used. If we understand the senses that we use ourselves, then it will help us understand how we relate to others and how others communicate.
Questioning & Understanding Techniques
Everyone likes to be treated as an individual, with individual needs and expectations. Interaction is twice as important as operational factors; therefore, the way you handle others can have a profound and far-reaching effect on growing good relationships.
Ensuring that you give individuals your full attention when you are communicating, is important both with face-to-face and whilst on the telephone. People are aware when you are distracted and this makes them feel that you do not care or you are not bothered.