General Guidelines for Effective Communication

Choosing the right approach and the best medium are critical decisions. But how do you actually go about the process of communicating? This may seem like overkill to some, but not taking the time to plan and failing to follow some basic guidelines can lead to disastrous results. Whenever you're communicating with others—face to face, in writing, by phone, or through memos—keep in mind these guidelines for effective communication:

Consider the function of the communication. Think about the purpose of your communication. For example, are you trying to provide information, offer an opinion, gain support, or drive a decision? This will have an effect on how you structure the communication and what approach may be best.

Get to the point. I've been subjected to countless phone calls and memos that took far too long to get to the reason for the communication. Don't do that to others. Strive to be concise.

Apply what you learned in English class. Pay attention to spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and composition when communicating—particularly in written communication.

Avoid distractions. Consider everything that may distract the recipient from getting the full impact of the communication and strive to reduce or eliminate them. Choose the right timing and physical setting. Make sure that your conduct isn't distracting.

Consider long-term effects. We often think of communication as being immediate and short-lived. However, that's not always the case. What if your e-mail note gets forwarded to the wrong person? What if you fail to include someone in a critical communication? Such matters may have long-term implications. Think about this when you're planning your communication.

Follow up. It's often good practice to follow up on your communications. Did the person receive the message? Did they understand it? Do they have any questions?

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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