Communicating with others is often overlooked or even taken for granted. Communication is an art; communication is a skill, and now what not. We say a lot and really don't mean nothing much. The most challenging aspect about communication is to ‘tell something in a simple and straightforward’ manner. We are exceptionally talented. but where we fundamentally fail is by being poor listeners and hence poor learners. While the virtue in charity lies in the precept that 'let the left hand not know what the right hs given', communication commands the left hand has to know what the right has to say. But then we are so confused or even too lost in the cacophony to realize the boot is on the wrong foot. A word out of line is akin to the same. You have to be someone easy to talk to – which will give the people confidence to connect. We try to impress with intellect by using dazzling words and difficult-to-understand terms, metaphors, idioms and what not. Corporate communication, of course, prescribes etiquette to be adhered, but it’s not to be misunderstood as something complicated just because etiquette itself isn’t an easy word. Agreed. Etiquette plainly put is rule. The standard for business correspondence is the essence of etiquette but there comes the rub. What standards? As times progressed, formal outlook is perceived as archaic. And give a thought about how the millennial relate and recognize the ‘chat’ language, as they the make up for the majority of workforce. Confluence or compromise? Calling it a compromise would be too crude nor can we uphold colloquial language in a formal correspondence. So what is the benchmark? Well, even this commentary can be critiqued for its strong undertones. We simply don’t communicate. Where there are barriers, aren’t there breakthroughs? Yet, the complexity with which conversation proceeds perplexes us no end. Conflicts arise mainly due to poor communication or mismanagement when words are minced and message loses its meaning. Basically, we failed to make sense, and far worse never ever realized which only made matters worst.
Cut down the chase
Employ direct lines instead of circling around. Being linear brings its own leverage to the board. Face-to-face is most preferred, and where need be, then emphasis is on the written word than spoken. So there is no hard and fast rule and much depends on the merit of the case. That said, keep it short and straight – be it verbal or written. Stakeholder management sometimes suffers from this very shortfall when the decision makers instead of engaging directly deal through interfaces. That’s typical delay suffered when information has to percolate through different channel before landing on the desired destination.
How can we improve communication?
Connect and contact=communicate. Why fuss about fancy words when simple one will convey the meaning. Articulation has nothing to do with ostentation. In fact, it works the other way instead. The challenge today that 'you might be possess the knowledge of a professor' but can you explain in away that a third-grade kid can understand. Language is no longer a limitation. Use shorter strings. Employ simple and meaningful words. Keep the pitch polite. And learn to listen, not with an intent to counter or cross-question, but to hear and be heard.
‘Houston, we have a problem’ – doesn’t that sound familiar Why? Its not astrophysics but plain English.
Do you understand? Good. Make sure other do what you have to communicate - in a language they can understand, in words they know, in a tone that will make them comfortable. Carry on the conversation...
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