By Barbara Bulleit, Global Knowledge Instructor Communication We communicate all the time, every day. Sometimes we're even aware of it! We communicate through gesture, body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice as well as through the words we speak. These variables can be joined in a variety of ways in our communication. Add to this mix: language; cultural and social differences; educational background; physical proximity; and individual fears, insecurities, strengths, and weaknesses. No wonder communication is complex! There is a huge amount of information on communication and different methodologies for improvement. The following offers one perspective on communication. First of all, being successful in business requires effective communication. This paper focuses on effective business communication, although the information can be applied generally. To untangle the mix described above and to improve communication, we can focus on several key elements:
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Purpose Style Listening
Purpose In business, when we communicate we usually have a purpose. Sometimes we have not considered that purpose sufficiently before beginning the dialogue, which can lead to confusion and mixed messages. So, first we must clarify our purpose. What do I want as a result of this communication? What would be a successful outcome? As an example, let's consider dialogue with an employee regarding a new assignment. Initially, we may look at the assignment and consider that its successful completion is the purpose. But let's break this process further down into smaller steps, with handing off the assignment being the first step. Our desired outcome FOR THE MEETING to hand off the assignment might be:
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Employee fully understands the assignment Responds to questions to ensure understanding Is able to paraphrase assignment requirements Is aware of consequences of completing or not completing assignment
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