The Keys to Successful Corporate Communication
Communicating is simple. Right? Well, expressing yourself may be easy, but effective communication can be mind-numbingly difficult in settings from friendships to marriages, politics and religion, and business.
It’s strange that although we all have been communicating since our infancy we still face communication problems all our lives. We often find ourselves stumbling or being misled during the delivery or reception of information.
This happens in our daily personal lives and in our organizations, where barriers to communication become a cause of many problems and can hamper progress and ongoing projects. Misinterpretation of facts, misapprehensions, cultural misunderstanding and closed door echo are common barriers in realizing the targeted level of communication.
Because effective communication is so often hampered, its particularly important in business to focus on coordination and specialization of messages, and if possible, determining the responsibilities, capabilities and role of those receiving your messages. This practice is captures in in #32 of Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth: #32 The communication an individual receives from your company is coordinated, specific to customer-type, and relevant to their responsibility and decision-making ability.
How can you improve your communication at all levels?
I studied journalism and public relations, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in these fields, so the classic text Effective Public Relations (1952) by Cutlip is burned in my memory. Cutlip cited the seven C’s of communication. They are as pertinent today, in the age of omni-channel communication and immediate feedback loops, as they were 65 years ago.
The application of these seven C’s can ensure communication is on a right track and will increase results. Let’s take a closer look at these, and more tips for effective communication.
- Be Clear. Be clear about your objective. Organize your thoughts. Use precise language. Be concise; aimless talk can be an off-putting waste of time.
- Understand the needs of your audience: You should be sensitive to the needs of a receiver. Understand as about his or her nature, culture, beliefs, and passions as you can.
- Practice and review. If you’re making a verbal presentation, practice in front of colleagues, or at least in front of a mirror. If you’ve written something, read it to yourself or others out loud. This really works!
- Watch your language: Messages should be framed in a pleasant tone, which attracts listeners. Care should be taken to keep the sentences short and simple. Technical words or jargon should be used only when they increase understanding, not to demonstrate your knowledge as an insider.
- Invite feedback from the receiver. There is nothing more helpful than getting feedback from the receiver. Was the message received and was it understood?
- Be consistent. It is important to be consistent, especially as you are communicating the value and features of a product or service. Disconnected or contrary messages destroy your credibility.
- Avoid information overload: People will get bored if they are bombarded with too much information. Emphasize necessary and useful information of value to the listener.
- Reduce the level of noise as much as possible: Try to speak and interact with someone where there is limited noise or disturbance.
- Shorten the communication chain. Try to communicate directly with the person concerned. The risk of distortion increases as facts are passed through a third party. More steps; more chances for distortion!