Tips for Effective Communication

People have unique ways to communicate with each other. When you understand people are uniquely different based on their communication styles then you can better relate to your customers, peers and in your personal relationships. The key is to understand yourself first.

COMMUNICATION STYLES

These are not right or wrong just different and understanding this ensures a team can work with varied styles. See below for the 4 key Communication Styles:

DISC communication styles

To learn more about DISC click here.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Use clear, concise sentences

Your goal, whether speaking aloud or composing an email, should be to make yourself instantly and completely understood. To that end, you should avoid using big words, steer clear of run-on sentences, and avoid any unclear phrasing.

Avoid long sentences with multiple clauses and herds of commas. The longer a sentence is, the more confusing it becomes. Always keep that in mind when writing directions or project details for a colleague.

If you aren’t sure that an email is clearly worded, step away from your computer for five minutes, and then look it over with a fresh perspective.

Keep a written record

Sometimes communicating effectively involves reminding people of what they’ve already told you, and when. Having a written record of all conversations related to a current or past account can be very helpful.

This is easy with email: just make sure never to delete old emails, and use filters for effortless organisation. For meetings/calls, make sure you keep clean, easy to read notes that also include the time and date. Audio recording is also an option.

Make every comment actionable

Inevitably, there is a time in every person’s career where they get together with a group of colleagues to discuss a project or proposal, and give feedback as a group. It’s important that when you give feedback on a project, you give actionable directions…particularly you are at the top of the food chain. Otherwise, the project can stagnate and people on your team can lose momentum.

It’s the difference between:

“Someone needs to speak with our design team about using a new font.”
and

“Marcy, could you touch base with Jim in Design about our font preferences?”

Make all criticism constructive

“Constructive criticism” is one of those feel-good buzzwords. Nevertheless, learning to give helpful feedback to a colleague will not only improve your interpersonal relations, but also will help to improve the quality of your work.

Constructive criticism is more than just a nicer way of talking to people. By giving clear, focused feedback instead of vague, general notes, people you speak with can really learn to improve their methods and practices in the future.

It’s the difference between:

“This website is a disgrace.”
and

“I see a number of issues here, including the dark green background that makes the text hard to read, and punctuation issues in the first two paragraphs.”

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