Women In Business

What counts as best practice communication?

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How well a message is communicated is equally as important as the message itself. Highly effective communication can engage employees and retain the best ones. But where do you start? Here are five tips to establish best practice communication in your organisation.

1. Understand the process of communicating

Think about who is responsible for disseminating messages and who they are going to. Is the information you are sharing trickling down throughout the organisation? Or are you sharing the information directly? Remember, when communicating, the message you share is not always the message received. The method you use to communicate is key to avoid or reduce incidences of incorrect information being passed down the grapevine, reducing the possibility of misunderstanding through poorly informed employees.

2. Make communicating a priority

Often we are fixed in our ways of communicating and when we are faced with someone who communicates differently to ourselves we might find them ‘weird’. The best way to overcome this perception is to focus on collaboration and cooperation and see what this colleague brings to the table. Add something positive to the conversation and build on what is being discussed rather than looking to convert the other person to your way of thinking. This encourages both parties to seek middle ground and can bring a team together. Collaboration and cooperation breeds innovation. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. By openly collaborating and encouraging cooperation, this can break down barriers and encourage support, generally creating a more communicative environment.

3. Put yourself in the receiver’s shoes

Communicating with empathy and compassionate accountability is a must when it comes to best practice communication. It is crucial to understand who you are communicating with and how they respond to your message. Consider how and if your message is received. Some people are visual, some are vocal. Some will ruminate on the information you share, carefully considering the information on hand and perhaps coming back with questions later. Others will take it at face value, potentially with immediate questions. There is no correct way to process information but it will affect how you deliver the message and the clarifications you make. You will need to adapt your message for your audience and be prepared for immediate and delayed responses.

4. Be careful about the message you want to communicate

If you think one thing and say another, often the message you want to convey won’t be received. If you have negative internal thoughts, this will subconsciously be conveyed via the language you choose. If you have genuine, positive and upbeat views of yourself and the information you share, there is a higher likelihood that the message received will be positive.

Remember that the message you are sharing may be interpreted differently to what you intend. To avoid miscommunication, consider how your message is conveyed and who it is going to. Don’t make jokes when sharing a serious issue and avoid sarcasm in your language. It is highly recommended to invest in training your leaders on how to communicate effectively. They can learn how to speak dynamically, how to engage the audience and different personality types and how to decode stress levels in others. You don’t have to say much to communicate powerfully. 

5. Tackle miscommunication head on

If you are facing an instance of miscommunication, the best way to fix the situation and avoid it in the future is to address the issue. Learn how to decode distress in others and intervene early on, so distress is kept at bay and your message gets heard. Ensure that you allow questions and feedback during any discussion and ensure you communicate with clarity. The best way to convey important or challenging messages is face to face as your tone and body language can be interpreted. Make sure you are well balanced before you handle a difficult conversation, you will be less successful if you are ‘on the edge’ with your energy yourself.

About Ilona Vass

ilonav@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Ilona Vass is the Director and Founder of Dancing With the Dragons. Ilona is a licenced and certified practitioner of PCM and LOD systems, and results coach, and has a Certificate in human resources and organisational development. Dancing with the Dragons assists companies and their leadership teams to develop a passionate a supportive team, ensuring that company culture equals a profitable business.www.dancingwiththedragons.com

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