Often, during communication, people talk without listening, an element that has also contributed to the aspect of people being too defensive, not paying attention to others and most of the times end up ruining communication. Since my childhood days, my mother nurtured in me the old saying; “think before you speak” whenever I communicate with others. Every day is a learning day for me, I make mistakes and get corrected. However, I feel that the skills of thinking before I speak have given me the right experience to be a good communicator. More so, I like to think myself as a functional communicator due to my attention to detail, timeline, and clear plans. In addition, my love for detail has earned me the title of an implementer because people have confidence in my way of reasoning.
What did the results tell you about how you communicate?
Ideally, the results indicate that despite a few communication problems, I am a capable communicator (The Mind Tools Content Team, n.d). Additionally, it is also important to reconsider my approach to communication and pay more attention to receiving and sending messages using the right communication channel.
If I want to be an effective communicator, then I must be able to embrace all the points of the communication process. I must also be able to decide and use the most suited communication channel. For instance, using the email for a complicated subject may not be the right option; rather a face to face conversation should be the most appropriate to be able to answer any questions the receiver may have.
Characteristics of an Effective Communicator
The way a person communicates determines how others perceive them professionally and personally. Ideally, an effective communicator must first know their audience. As Chase and Shamo (2013) note, unless the audience is engaged, then it is hard for communication to take place. As a communicator, it is important to know the audience to be able to tailor the message accordingly. This allows the communicator to understand the right tone and language to give an engaging presentation that keeps people listening to the message and ensure effective communication. The second characteristic of an effective communicator is having a clear objective when preparing the message. They should know the right message to able to hit their target. Typically, objective acts as a guiding principle to help the communicator understand what he or she wants to say, choose the words, and body language that fits the message. The third characteristic of an effective communicator is that they are passionate about their subject. Usually, when someone is excited about the message, they put all their effort into the presentation, articulating their points with no complexity and winning the heart of the audience.
Ways to Improve my Communication
Communication begins with the sender encoding a message, transmitting it through a communication channel, and the receiver decoding the message. Understanding the process of communication is critical for effective communication. As a communicator, there are several ways to improve how I communicate with others at every stage of the communication process (The Mind Tools Content Team, n.d). For instance, when planning my message, I should first think about what I want to say and why. It is also important to avoid wasting time on unnecessary information; rather I should focus on the main points based on the audience and what the content of the message. Another recommendation is that I should consider encoding a clear and well-crafted message considering the perspective of the recipient for effective communication. Along with that, while using email as a communication channel is practical, it is also important to consider if it is the best communication channel for every type of message. Lastly, paying attention to the other person, their body language, and allowing them to speak without interruption forms an integral part of effective communication.
Chase, R. S., & Shamo, W. (2013). Elements of effective communication. Washington, Utah: Plain and Precious Publishing.
The Mind Tools Content Team. (n.d). How good are your communication skills? Mind Tools. Retrieved from: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_99.htm#Explanation
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