Making Communication Work

Most managers spend an average of 75% their time on communication. Depending on the stage of the project, this might vary significantly. Later stages recording the highest. Primary purpose of the communication is to bridge, connect. More disconnects in a project, leads to more communication. More communication might lead to more disconnections too.

It is important to make sure that communication is effective – stay relevant over a period of time than a running commentary required for only non participating audience.

In order to make communication work, design it for the target audience. The content, level of detail, mode of communication and the periodicity/ timing should be inline with the expectation of the receiving party. Universal template for all stakeholders has not been found effective. Though template helps in preparation and consumption, it fails to be effective unless designed for the profile of the stakeholders.

Routinely updating the stakeholder map and information needs will help in making the communication work. Make sure you are bridging and not breaking the connections towards progress. Take note of the information load and distraction at work. Devise simple and subject specific communication mechanisms. Make use of social media and networking platforms carefully – since most of them still remain informal and discretionary.

Many a times people expect you to followup to get things done and expect you to be following through on what you committed. Ensure followup and following through are part of your work to make communication effective.

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Effective communication tricks for being on top of performance

Communication plays a vital role in performance at work. To connect, to get details, to work-out useful solutions and to build a cohesive workforce, communication becomes the catalyst.

More than the means of communication, the choice of words become a critical part of forming the meaning. The messenger of the value. Some ticks to improve the effectiveness of communication and be on top of your performance include the following:

1. Build and use a simple, unambiguous vocabulary. It helps to connect quickly. It helps in getting the other person to start thinking and acting swiftly. If you have to use complex words, do explain. Don’t let the other person make their own meanings.
2. Use big thinker’s vocabulary. Use big, bright and cheerful words. Use words that invoke hope, happiness, and pleasure. Avoid words that create unpleasant images of failure, defeat, and grief.
3. Don’t trivialize important things. At the same time, don’t focus on trivial things. Focus your attention on the core, big objectives. Everyone’s time and energy are precious.
4. Every opportunity for communication is the best time for adding value – to things, to people and yourself. Keep the focus on value addition, always. Even when you are escalating an issue, reporting status or seeking help.
5. Beware of the self-deprecating style of communication. You might end-up selling-short and limit your effectiveness. You’re better than you think you are.

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