Three steps to making communication more effective

Do you feel you aren’t heard or that people don’t respond the way that you expect?

Here are three areas that I have tried to focus on even more so since the beginning of 2015 and I hope it will make me more successful in both personal and professional situations.

confused_sign_post.jpgCommunication can always have glitches and we need to always be mindful of ways to improve.  Improvement is incremental and continuous. (Step by step we can always do better.)  Whether the communication is in the same office or a long distance, making sure that you consider these points should help in making communication more effective. In the case of Santex we have both company offices and customers who are a long distance apart.  So getting this right is important all the way around.

I think of these three incremental steps as questions that I ask when I am actively communicating.  

Am I providing context or a framework to the messages that I send to people?  

Providing context doesn’t mean using more words to explain something. To the opposite, it is providing a simple, understandable framework so that the person receiving the message understands why you are communicating the message and what your expectation is regarding your response.  If this is done in a consistent way, your audience can anticipate what they will get for a message and be better prepared.  

Context also means what is the context in which the message is received?  Timing can be extremely important. Sending a message in the middle of the night and asking people to respond within the next day may not be reasonable for people who plan ahead. It may make you appear disorganized and demanding even if your intent is to show energy and enthusiasm.

Do I have their attention?   People have so much stimulation of all senses that a message whether audible or visual can be missed because they just weren’t paying attention. Don’t assume that because you sent something that the person has received the message and they understand the significance of the message.  Trust is ok but still verify.

Is there a feedback loop for both the listener and the speaker to use and is it working? It really isn’t enough that you know that someone received the message. What’s the response to your message and does it have the consequence of having received this message?  Making sure that you understand the consequence makes the message more effective.  It’s also easier to reinforce positive behavior.

We all have room for improvement and I’m always looking to improve myself.  I hope this will help you.

About the Author – Doug Lewis is a Manager of Inside Sales and Business Development for Santex.  Throughout his career, Doug has developed high value sales and business relationships for companies seeking international markets.

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