Let’s get started – communication

In a week where dolphins can teach everyone something about good communication deciding where to start was simple.

Communication is the transfer of information. – Simple.

Maybe we should think a little more?

Communication is the transfer of information seen from one person’s perspective through a medium to other people with different perspectives.

Not so simple.

But, here is the trick. The over-whelming majority of communication in business occurs within the organization – and one basic step will help ensure you have been successful. Your message has been received, understood and shared.

You simply ask.

Verify your message was received. In practice this means:

  • When talking with others, ask how they interpret what has been said?
  • When sending email, follow up with a call or lead the email to set the scene and check again after the message is sent.
  • When sending reports to a wider audience sample from that group to ensure the message has got across.
  • In ALL FORMS of communication state clearly the key points. Executive summaries don’t just exist in documents – have one for your phone calls too and definitely for meetings.

The communication equation must ensure that the message going in survives the medium through which it is delivered to arrive with the recipient as intended.

Practical steps to ensure you balance the equation:

  1. Plan your message (what are you trying to say? to whom are you saying it?)
  2. Select the right medium (written, verbal, visual)
  3. Verify your message was understood as you intended

Lastly, know the rules for effective writing (available in many other places) they do really help, even if they are actually quite hard to follow on occasion.