Communication

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

7-1

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
OBJECTIVES To successfully complete this assignment, you must study the text and master the following objectives: • • • • Identify the parts of Shannon’s communications model. State the barriers to effective communication. Define active listening. Describe how using proper orders and standard terminology may enhance safety and mission success.

DEFINITION

Communication is the process of exchanging information. Information is conveyed as words, tone of voice, and body language. Studies have shown that words account for 7 percent of the information communicated. Vocal tone accounts for 55 percent and body language accounts for 38 percent. To be effective communicators, team members must be aware of these forms, how to use them effectively, and barriers to the communications process.

Effective Ways To Communicate

The following actions have been observed in teams with effective communications skills. • Acknowledge (“Roger”) communications. • Provide information in accordance with SOP’s. • Provide information when asked. • Repeat, as necessary, to ensure communication is accurately received.

Team Coordination Training Student Guide (8/98)

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective Ways To Communicate (Cont.)

• Use standard terminology when communicating information. • Request and provide clarification when needed. • Ensure statements are direct and unambiguous. • Inform the appropriate individuals when the mission or plans change. • Communicate all information needed by those individuals or teams external to the team. • Use nonverbal communication appropriately. • Use proper order when communicating information.

PROCESS

To understand the complexity of the process and how it can be influenced, Figure 7-1 presents a communication model.

SHANNON’S COMMUNICATIONS MODEL

BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION

MESSAGE
SENDER INTENDED LISTENER PERCEIVED

FEEDBACK
Figure 7-1

Team Coordination Training Student Guide (8/98)

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

7-3

BARRIERS

Barriers are influencing factors which impede or breakdown the continuous communications loop. They block, distort, or alter the information. By identifying the barriers and applying countermeasures, team members can effectively communicate. Barriers include: • Non-assertive behavior • Task-preoccupation • Anger or frustration • Personal bias • Team diversity • Lack of confidence • Inappropriate priorities • Organizational structure • Distractions • Tunnel vision • Interruptions • Rank differences.

SENDER

Communications is a two-way process that starts with the sender. The sender should be conveying information necessary for mission accomplishment. The sender must be proactive in making the receiver understand the message. Too often, what is said is not always what is heard. To prevent this from happening, do the following: • State one idea at a time. • State ideas simply. • Explain when appropriate. • Repeat if appropriate. • Encourage feedback. • Read between the lines. Did your choice of words, tone of the sentence, and body language (intentional gestures or subconscious movements) convey the same meaning?

MESSAGE

The message is simply the information the sender wants to communicate to the receiver. The message is usually verbal, but it can also be non-verbal. To reduce potential problems, the sender should:

Team Coordination Training Student Guide (8/98)

7-4

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

• Use correct terminology (standard commands). • Speak clearly. • Time the message to be sent when the receiver is able to listen. • Use appropriate vocal tone and volume. Commands must be heard and perceived as an imperative, not a question or comment. When breaking error chains, or returning others to situational awareness, express a tone of urgency and importance. • Be relevant to the receiver, not a distraction. The message needs to be inclusive and informative. Inclusive...
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