Communication - a basic skill we all use every day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we do it right – especially in the work place. Are we good at briefing each other? Can we train new staff members and explain ourselves clearly? When we present to a client are we certain that what we’re proposing to do is being understood loud and clear?
Information Overload: Effective communication will be compromised if the flow of information is not regulated, controlled and without a defined purpose. A channel of communication most relevant to the message needs to be outlined and planned out before delivering the message.
Interpretation: Is the message we’re passing on correct? As basic as it is, it’s a common problem and passing on inaccurate information will cause a domino effect and can be devastating. It’s important to ensure, all basis’ are covered before communicating your message to a team or client.
Time: When people are stressed and under pressure and deadlines quickly approaching; process, communication and understanding can go out the window. Ideally, as much notice as possible is needed to avoid this situation. Careful planning and organisation can alleviate the problem.
Organisational Structure: All members of an organisation need to be clear on the hierarchy and their position in the company to avoid an internal communication breakdown. Is everyone clear on whom they report to and clear on their role and responsibilities? Simple oversights can cause unnecessary confusion.
Not Paying Attention: Have you got your audience’s attention? Are your clients fully engaged? Is your team in a position to give their full attention or are they distracted by other work and deadlines. Ensure whoever you’re delivering your message is fully engaged and in an environment that allows them to absorb the information.
Understanding: It"s all easier said than done. You can"t solve all of the problems, all of the time. But remembering the basics; understanding your audience, while also respecting and sympathising with the situation or enviroment, can prevent a "communication breakdown".
Image by IGNC Munster