“Communication is Everything!” Lee Iacocca made this statement in his book Iacocca, and many others have made similar claims in an effort to highlight the necessary skills to excel and inspire as a leader. But effective communication is not just for high profile leaders. Effective communication transcends every aspect of our business and personal lives. What you are able to accomplish as a business person, parent, friend, educator, customer, client or supplier is highly dependent on your ability to get the message across. Probably 99% of the problems within organizations are caused by a breakdown or failure in the communication process.
According to research, people believe that those who can text at lightning speed, plow through emails, blog consistently or speak loud, fast and have no problem talking with others on any subject, are effective communicators. In fact, the opposite is often true.
Being able to quickly string words together does not mean the message is understood by others.
To effectively get your message across, start with these Three Communication Basics:
Be Clear : Clarity saves time, money and mistakes. Answer the question that is being asked. Ask for the information you desire. Too often people beat around the bush or go off on a tangent and the real issues are not addressed. Additionally, if you are providing instructions, provide details and expectations. Assuming the recipient knows what you want or how to do it can lead to disappointment on both sides.
Know Your Audience: Perspective is based on an individual and that individual may not look at things the same way you do.
Consider who you are communicating with. Think about where the other person is coming from. What is his point of view? What are her problems or concerns? What is he trying to accomplish? What is her level of knowledge or information?
Listen: Perhaps the most overstated and under practiced element of all! Listening shows respect and indicates that what the individual has to convey is important. It also allows you to get information. Let people complete a thought before responding. Most of us are already forming a response before we even hear the full thought or read the full message. Key information could be—and is often— missed.
Apply these Communication Basics to your next conversation, email or text and get your message across because “Communication is EVERYTHING!”