Principles of Effective Communication!

Communication, whether oral or written, is all about understanding. Our aim should be to communicate a message successfully so that it is received as we intended it to be received, without any misunderstanding. 

Effective communication can be achieved by being aware of the barriers which exist, and by considering the following vital factors carefully:

  • What is the objective of the communication?
  • Is it intended to give information, to persuade, to request, to inform?
  • Who will be commhaunicated?
  • What is the relationship between sender and recipient?
  • What is the recipient's background knowledge and experience?
  • Under what circumstances is the communication taking place?
  • Why is the communication happening? Is it urgent, serious, dangerous, emotive, informative?
  • How will the recipient react to the communication?
  • How will the message affect the recipient? Is it important?
  • Will the recipient be offended or angered? Will it achieve the desire aims?
Bearing the above factors in mind, we have a Checklist for EFFECTIVE Communication:

  1. Think clearly: Think before you speak or write. 
  2. Listen intelligently: Remember that communication is a two-way process. Listening is just as important as speaking. Similarly, try reading your written message as if you were the recipient, and consider if it will be effective.
  3. Select appropriate media: Consider carefully the method to be used for communicating your message. It should be appropriate to the desire objective.
  4. Time your communication appropriately: Consider when the communication should take place, and how long it should be.
  5. Use appropriate language: Use words which are relevant to the topic and which will be understood by the recipient.
  6. Obtain feedback: Obtain feedback to ensure that the communication was effective.

When a message has been communicated, the sender should find out if it has been understood by obtaining feedback. Sometimes feedback is obtained which indicates that understanding has not been achieved. In such cases you should ask yourself why, rather than blame the recipient. Perhaps your expressions or your language led to confusion or misunderstanding. Perhaps your timing was poor. Perhaps your message was too long that the main points were lost. Perhaps tone or manner was inappropriate. 

The important thing to ask yourself is how you failed in the communication, and how the communication should have been improved in order for it to be effective.


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