If an army marches on their stomachs, then surely an organisation marches on good communication. Communication is fun, yet it is also the area where most problems are experienced in a business. An organisation requires a communication plan, and an individual should have a communication component of his or her brand plan.
The principles of communication lie in: A for accuracy, B for brevity and C for clarity – it is essential that information is accurate, brief and clearly understood. So often we say one thing and our audience hears and understands another. Problems in an organisation can often be traced back to poor communication. It is vital that optimum internal communication is cemented before communicating with a public audience. The stakeholders of your business include all employees and members of the public who come into contact with them. They all need to work together to ensure good communication and an exemplary reputation.
We need to acknowledge that of all the vast changes in the workplace, communication in particular has evolved drastically. It is not only due to technological advances, but because the next wave of leaders and followers think differently and therefore communicate differently from the old guard. It is longer “what I want to say”, but “what do you need to hear”. In our country we have 11 official languages. Allow me to suggest that there are a few other languages – important languages like the languages of silence, discretion, listening, affirmation and appreciation.
How effectively do you communicate? Ask yourself:
- Do I make myself clear?
- Do I fill spaces with unnecessary waffle, thereby distracting my audience with too much information?
- Do I carefully consider what someone wants to hear from me, what information they are trying to extract, or do I simply say what I feel like saying?
- Do I think of the end result before I start a conversation ie what outcome do I want from this?
Think carefully before you speak and you will be delighted when you see improved outcomes of your conversations. Consider carefully where best it is to have a difficult conversation – often taking someone out of their work space means that you have better attention, and it is easier to discuss matters of importance or conflict.