We all use the term; I use it all the time, Effective Communication. We need to communicate effectively and the whole world will improve. Well I actually believe that but yes I know that is idealistic!
So let’s start with defining the two words and then bring them together:
Effective – to accomplish a purpose, to produce the intended or expected result, that it is actually in operation or in force, producing a deep or vivid impression.
Communication – the activity of conveying information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the sender. (Source – Wikipedia)
So perhaps our definition of effective communication is that it is a two way process that ensures the message was received in the same way that it was intended. Now there’s responsibility for you. So a key here is to ensure that when you are communicating to anyone, you must start with the outcome in mind, be conscious of your audience and have clarity in your message. To wear the badge of an effective communicator you must do this because this is what people are seeking from leaders today. This is not really a choice, it is a necessity.
So you can see the potential problem in business, particularly in an environment where it is reactive and incredibly out of control. How do people have the space to even think how they are communicating let alone ensuring the message is being delivered in such a way to ensure the intent. I’m exhausted even thinking about that! However, it is critical to the success of any business or relationship. So we must start being more conscious of our communication style. If we all do this and take responsibility as individuals, the impact will be enormous
Say for example you were verbally communicating to someone who was hearing impaired. They cannot hear your message. You would need to ensure you message was delivered slowly so they could lip read, or engage someone who could sign your message to them or write down the communication clearly, ensuring you had all bases covered. That takes time, thought and care. A key component of the communication process is missing, therefore you need to compensate.
Now say you were communicating to someone who doesn’t listen. This is similar to communicating to someone who is hearing impaired because they simply do not hear you. How do you rectify this as a leader? You have taken on the responsibility to do the best you can with your communication but part of the verbal communication process is someone needs to hear you! I’ll leave you with that question and I’ll be interested to hear your responses.