We live in a world surrounded by information: coming at us from television, radio, computers and face-to-face with others around us. With that title wave comes an increased need to function efficiently: to do our jobs, raise our families and maintain cordial relationships with those around us. Ironically, all that noise and chatter can make it difficult to function which is why effective communication skills are more important than ever. The purpose of effective communication is to reach consensus and build harmony. That allows everyone to work in concert, feel valued and accomplish what they set out to do. Effective communication looks for common ground, negotiation points and areas of specific importance to the other person. They allow things to proceed in a smooth and emotionally satisfying manner. Effective communication allows ideas to be conveyed clearly and succinctly. The applications of this are almost limitless. Doctors need good communication skills to let their patients know the prognosis, while salesmen need to communicate in order to correctly impart the benefits of their product. Teachers need them to convey knowledge to their students and students need them to articulate their questions and express their confusion.
Effective communication infers a two-way connection between the parties involved. That allows everyone that contributes to the discussion feel as if theyвve been heard. Listening is as important as speaking in effective communication, permitting the free exchange of ideas and allowing all facts and opinions to be heard. Effective communication refrains from personal attacks and focuses instead on the problem or issue at hand. These aspects help reduce the stress of the situation and allow those involved to better focus. Communication infers verbal interaction, but it can mean other things as well. This includes the written word (conveyed in letters or emails) and nonverbal signs such as body language and the tone of oneвs voice. Because we donвt often consider these other forms of communication we tend to take them for granted. More effective communication addresses them properly, making us more aware of the effects we have on others. Lack of effective communication costs more than just hurt feelings. When people arenвt communicating, it takes them more time to convey pertinent information.
Poor communication also results in wasted efforts, as mistakes arenвt corrected and resources are devoted to needless tasks. In the worst cases, it can divide a group through personal rancor, as larger issues get lost amid perceived slights and insults.
Communication plays a fundamental role in all facets of business. It is therefore very important that both internal communication within your organisation as well as the communication skills of your employees are effective. The following six reasons will explain why effective communication should be a focus in your business: 1. Builds and maintains relationships Relationships are built and can be maintained by positive encounters with others. Communication will be key to this process without effective skills, it will be difficult to properly construct and foster productive relationships. 2. Facilitates innovation When employees feel comfortable in openly communicating new ideas, cooperation and innovation will be at an all-time high. In addition, if staff are unable to convey their ideas due to limited communication skills, it is likely that the idea will not be implemented to its full potential. 3.
Builds an effective team If open communication within a workplace is encouraged, a more cohesive and effective team will emerge. Good communication within a team also tends to boost employee morale. When employees feel that they are well informed of the company s direction and vision, they will feel more secure within their role. Regular internal communication can also lead to an improved work ethic if staff are reminded of achievements and feel that they are working towards a common goal. 4. Managing employees When managers are effective communicators, they are more able to inform staff adequately of their responsibilities and what is expected from them. Good communication skills also helps managers to provide constructive feedback to their staff, build better relationships, and understand personal goals that staff may wish to work towards. 5. Contributes to growth of the company A lack of communication can lead to the collapse of any organisation. Whilst that is a bold statement without proper marketing collateral and communication internally and externally, most organisations will struggle to survive.
Communication can also lead to productivity and helps to avoid unnecessary delays in the implementation of policies. 6. Ensures transparency When regularly communicating both internally and externally, organisations remain more transparent. This is important in building trust in your brand, in your services and also internally when it comes to the trust that employees have in higher management. Tony Deblauwe from adds that when tough decisions need to be made, transparent leaders will have an easier time explaining why. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions that can be added to this list? I would love to hear how you or your organisation approaches communication. Is it overlooked as an area of professional development, or is there a focus on it? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below. from AIB, Australia s most popular MBA programme. This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: