Monday 23rd September 02:28

Communication: Getting Your Message Across

The act of communicating is the most distinguishing feature of human beings. Unlike other species, we spend most of our lives communicating in one form or another. But for something that is so natural to us, few of us succeed in communicating effectively all the time. Only by understanding how communications work effectively can we progress to becoming the best at what we are naturally gifted to do.

1. Why Do We Communicate?

There are 5 main reasons why we communicate...
1. as a means of understanding our environment and learning about it, both for protection from danger and out of curiosity
2. to express our wants and needs to others who can meet them
3. to make contact with others for friendship and affiliation
4. to work in co-operation with others to achieve some goal
5. to simply express ourselves.

2. The 7 Steps in Effective Communication

At its simplest, effective communications consists of 7 steps:
1. a message to transmit
2. a sender to send it
3. a language to encode it
4. a method to convey it
5. a receiver to receive it
6. a decoder to make sense of it
7. a sign to say "Message received and understood!"

3. The Obstacles to Effective Communication

The obstacles to effective communication include...
1. sending a message that you don't need to send
2. sending an incoherent message
3. sending too much or too little information
4. not explaining why you have sent the message
5. not phrasing the message in a way the receiver understands
6. using incorrect language rules, bad grammar, bad spelling
7. missing something important out
8. sending false, outdated or incomplete information
9. using double-speak by saying one thing and meaning another.

Communicating is the one skill that can transform your workplace but also one of the most difficult to get right. The secret to effective communication doesn't lie in discovering skills that you don't already possess but in removing the physical, emotional, psychological, and interpersonal obstacles that get in the way. 

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