How to communicate effectively

The term ‘communication’ now includes many activities associated with everyday organisational life - oral, face-to-face, formal, informal, personal, interpersonal, nonverbal, and written - which is why so many organisational headaches are attributed to ‘communication problems’. Indeed, a common finding of organisational reviews is that ‘communication needs to be improved’. We spend so much time ‘communicating’, but so few of us give much thought to the essentials of this key management activity...

1. Always work to establish rapport.

Without the trust and confidence of others with whom you are communicating, much of what you say will be lost. It is imperative, therefore, that you take time to establish and build rapport. Knowing your audience is a vital part of this process.

2. Attract the attention of your target audience.

It’s not what you communicate but how you do it. People are being bombarded with information and have become very selective. If your message is going to penetrate today’s highly critical market, you’ll need to make it stand out from the rest. Make your communications short, sharp, and customised to capture the attention of your target groups.

3. Demonstrate confidence.

A key quality in any communication is confidence. Research reveals that, if you sound and look confident, others are more likely agree to what you might propose. The converse also applies.

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