Clear Communication: The Benefits and How to Achieve Them
Communication is a complex and often difficult process for both the receiver and sender. Barriers on both sides of the process often deflect the real meaning of the message and inhibit clear, open, and rewarding communication. Research shows that a major portion of an organization's problems are caused by poor communication, while an even greater part of an organization's progress stems from good communication.
Everyone can gain from bettering their communication skills. Some benefits of improving communication skills are:
1. Improved productivity -- 2. better problem solving -- 3. fewer grievances -- 4. enhanced creativity and efficiency -- 5. better working relationships -- 6. greater personal satisfaction.
How can you achieve these benefits? First it is necessary to define the term communication. Communication is an exchange of information. It is a process of understanding on both the part of the receiver and the sender.
EMPATHY- Over the years, people have searched for some single, integrating principle at the root of communication success. Many believe it is empathy. Empathy is the habit of putting yourself in another person's shoes, getting "into their skin," understanding how they feel, seeing and experiencing a situation or problem as they see and experience it, and listening carefully to the other person's viewpoint. Empathy is a simple concept in the abstract, yet in practice difficult to achieve as a consistent habit. For those who can master and practice empathy, it is the key to understanding people and communicating effectively.
FEEDBACK- The power of "feedback" in all communication cannot be exaggerated. For the sender, this means making it a habit to encourage the receiver to verbally convey to the sender what the receiver has actually understood. If the sender discovers that the receiver has an understanding different from that one intended, the sender can try again. Without such feedback, the sender would not be aware that there is a misunderstanding and that it must be corrected. The receiver only needs to hold the attention of the sender long enough to "feed back" to him what the receiver has understood and to check for accuracy.
NONVERBAL SIGNALS- The importance and impact of nonverbal signals in communication is astounding. (By nonverbal signals we mean such elements as tone of voice, pitch, hesitation, facial expression, posture, etc.) Recent research shows that 90% of communication impact depends upon nonverbal signals and only 10% upon the words used.
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CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.
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