There is one communication process that everyone talks about: it’s the sender, receiver, message, feedback and environment. This is the 101 of communications, mastering who says what, who listens and the feedback received under good circumstances is basic. Yet, this is the basics of a communication process. A good communication process entails more that these five basic elements.
I am sharing 10 steps that will help you communicate effectively:
- Choose the right time and place: depending on the type of message that you want to convey, choose the most suitable time and place. This is called the environment in the communication process.
- Organize your ideas: in order to convey a proper message, you need to organize your ideas and thoughts. Think of the ideas themselves, their seequnce, and the words you will use. Choosing the right words is vital for an effective communication.
- Decide whether you will start your message with an introduction or just jump straight to the point: this depends on your receiver/audience and definitely on the topic itself. Some people prefer introductions while others just ask you to go straight to the point; plus the urgency of the topic plays a great role in here.
- Be clear and concise as you convey your message: your message is in your head, you already thought of it thoroughly and you know its bits and pieces. While on the contrary, the receiver doesn’t know it. Make sure that you are concise and clear while conveying your message so your receiver can comprehend your ideas well. I would add to this point that you should articulate well also.
- Associate your message with the right attitude: With the right attitude your receiver can better comprehend your intentions and the reason behind conveying your message. A proper attitude can also be a call for action.
- Let your body language reflect your message: Use your gestures to your benefit. Make eye contact with your receiver, use your hand effectively, and you will see how your body language can boost your message.
Now that you conveyed your part of the message, you need a feedback from the receiver.
- Listen (point): listen carefully to what the receiver has to say about the message you conveyed (or about his interpretations to it). Never prepare your answer as the receiver is talking. Just Listen!
- Rephrase the comments made: rephrasing comments can ensure that you understood properly what the feedback was so you can respond if needed.
- Ask questions: In case no feedback was received, you can ask open ended questions to ensure that your message was properly received and to secure some feedback.
- Repeat the cycle… go back and forth, message –> feedback until your message is received and well understood.
It’s not easy to directly apply proper communication skills and directly communicate effectively. This is a habit that needs to be developed (check out how I suggest you build a habit) with time.
Sometimes, even the most effective communicators fail to convey their messages effectively due to external or internal factors. Try mastering this skill in order to limit any misunderstanding. And in case you failed to do so, it’s not the end of the world, we are all humans in the end (or at least the ones reading my posts are!)