When considering communication skills, it’s always important to see both the big picture and the details.
- Clarity is always key
- Self-work is the start
- Communication requires understanding
Written And Verbal Communication
There are many styles of communication, both written and verbal, with a long and rich history from earliest times. One many corporate people are familiar with is an assertive, authoritarian style. CEO and lead executives give a state of the company address, meant to convey wisdom and strength to both shareholders and the public, as well as giving reassurance to workers and employees. Authoritative style of speaking provides information and leaves little room for ambiguities. Many times questions are discouraged.
With a more informal style of communication, a friendlier tone and more direct language may be used, to make a conversation feel personal and related directly to the lives of the interlocuters. This may be used in personnel reviews, conversations between coworkers, and other situations where there is not a large crowd. There are times when corporate leaders use a more informal style of speech, but it can feel forced when addressing a large crowd and providing information that the listeners need.
When writing to a large audience, comedy is very difficult to convey, and often is eschewed for more clear communication. Without a doubt written and verbal communications are different, one from another. But at the same time, the main goal of each is to reach an audience and provide information, education, or enjoyment.
Communication Skills And Self-Work
When thinking about communication, many speakers and writers think about what they want to say, which is, of course, important. But it’s not the only vital piece. The intended audience matters as well. What do you want your audience to get from your statement? What do you want them to feel? If you’re trying to provide specific information, make certain that you do so. The worst thing is when there’s a meeting or an email and participants come away not having got what the information’s sender intended.
To start with, it’s important to know the exact information you want to convey. Who will you be speaking or writing to? What pieces of information are important for you to give your audience? Have you done the necessary self-work to communicate clearly? Make sure you’re clear in yourself about what message you’re sending. Don’t obfuscate facts, even if they’re unpleasant, unless you do it deliberately. If you just put information into an email to subordinates, be clear about how you want that information disseminated. Do you want your mid tier managers to pass information along? Will you do so?
Are you talking to someone one on one? Make yourself as calm as possible before talking to them. Even if, especially if, you have to comment on someone’s behavior, or reprimand them for something that they did. If you are angry or obviously distraught, it will not make things easy, and may make them not only more difficult, but possibly problematic, as things can escalate beyond what you intended.
Information overload is not a communication skill. If you’re looking to reach your audience and communicate clearly, you cannot simply info dump. You want to provide essential information to whoever is receiving it, and you want to make certain they’re getting what you intend. Whether you’re providing information about a retirement account, corporate layoffs, or rising stocks prices meaning extra bonus money for everyone, there’s a clear message you’re trying to say.
And provide some nuance and context so that people can relate your information to their own lives, which is honestly what people do. If you’ve just told someone their job is being relocated, you have to give them some time to process what you’ve said. If you’re going to give everyone a bonus, you will still want to let them have a beat to let it sink it. All information travels to the recipient at different speeds. Sometimes people will need to hear things more than once. Sometimes they might need to hear things in a different way.
Meet people where they are when it comes to communication, and get your message across.