Improving Communications

The following guidelines will help you improve your communications.

Make the Message Relevant for the Receiver

Good communications come when the receiver is interested and has something at stake in the message. If the message is relevant, then the receiver is more likely to get a more complete meaning. We have all been in situations where someone is telling us about something that is not relevant to us. Our attention wanders off to some other area, and we actually do not hear anything that is said for a period of time.

Reduce the Message to Its Simplest Terms

When you communicate with someone, keep the message as simple as possible. Many times the message is complicated with unnecessary details about the rationale and the justification of a project when the listener is already convinced and just wants to know what to do.

Organize the Message into a Series of Stages

One of the reasons that verbal communication succeeds over written communication is the opportunity to keep things simple. The sender can send a simple part of the message and receive feedback immediately. The sender can send another part of the message and receive feedback on that too. In this way, the message is kept simple, and the receiver is brought to the complete understanding of the full message, one piece at a time. You may have heard this question: ''How do you eat an elephant?'' The answer is, ''One bite at a time.'' Of course, if it takes too long, the elephant may spoil, and the message may be lost.

Repeat the Key Points

Because listening takes place a very small percentage of the time, it is important to repeat the important points of the message. As we communicate, it is a good idea to go back a few steps and summarize what has gone before. This allows repetition of some of the major points and ensures that the receiver is getting all of the important points in the message.

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Project Management Made Easy

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