- Use Face-to-face meetings â€“ In the world of telecommuting, video conferencing and on-line meetings, face-to-face is happening less and less often. Yet, meeting someone in person is the best way to exchange ideas and thoughts. A new study from Harvard Medical School found that when we collaborate remotely, our work may have less of an impact. Face to face meetings increases trust and allows for stronger bonds and relationships. Non verbal communication is an intricate part of conveying thoughts and opinions which is best done face-to-face.
- Think before you speak â€“Â With anything, the more you prepare for a meeting or communication event the smoother it will go and more likely it is to have a positive outcome. Write down as many ways you can think of to be a better communicator. Getting mentally set to communicate better is imperative.
- Cut bureaucracy in all communications - The more people you have involved in a decision or review process, the more watered down and less effective it will be. Have you ever tried to get consensus with a group of 5 or more on picking a colour or name? As a manager, especially senior management, you have an obligation to reduce the complexity of internal and external communications. You can appoint someone to review internal communications and instruct them to slash as much bureaucracy and complexity as possible.
- Something positive â€“ Donâ€™t forget the tried and true method for criticizing someone: positive statement first, then a negative statement followed by a positive one. Studies have found that the negative or criticism is handled better by a person when delivered in this manner of surrounding negative with positive.
- Add â€œNo reply necessaryâ€ to emails â€“ When you do not require a response, tell the recipients. Â We waste hours a year writing â€œYouâ€™re welcomeâ€ and â€œThank youâ€ emails. Be effective and be happy.
- Listen - Get to know your people better. Find out what makes them happy. Show them that you hear what theyâ€™re saying. Make them feel heard. Great communication is a about knowing when to speak and knowing when to listen. Itâ€™s a two way process.
- One or Two word emails â€“Â Stop sending short one line emails. Few words can create lots of confusion and often require more emails to clarify, and worse can cause poor or wrong reactions. For example, you are looking for help with a tough decision. You send an email, â€œCurrently we are losing money on our operations; we could lower salaries or lay people off. What are your thoughts?â€ and the response from the CEO is, â€œyes go ahead.â€ What do you do?
Are Digital Mediums Making Communication Worse?
December 1, 2010