Communication Essentials

We are constantly communicating whether we realize it or not. As you communicate it is important to send the intended message. Here are some communication tips to help:

Tips for Effective Verbal Communication

At work, home or out and about it is easy to send the wrong message. People often misunderstand the intent of a message and take it the wrong way. Minimize communication problems by doing the following:

  • Present your message briefly and concisely.
  • Clearly organize your message and present it without using jargon.
  • Refrain from using critical or judgmental words.
  • Make sure what you are saying matches your tone and body language.

Barriers to Effective Communication

  • Muddled Messages
  • Stereotyping
  • Language
  • Lack of Feedback
  • Poor Listening Skills
  • Interruptions
  • Physical Distractions
  • Tips for Effective Written Communication

    • Start your message with a positive statement.
    • Avoid using department slang words.
    • Don’t use symbols in your message.
    • Avoid clichés
    • Ensure you are spelling the names of people correctly and using their correct titles.
    • Express numbers that begin a sentence or are less than ten in words. Numbers ten or greater should be expressed as numerals.
    • Keep your sentences short.
    • When making a criticism use the word “we” rather than “you.”
    • Don’t express anger, fear, frustration, irritation and aggression in written communication.
    • Proof read before sending.

    Tips for Writing Effective E-mails

    • Know who your audience is and assume your e-mail will be forwarded.
    • Be kind in your e-mails.
    • Remember, once you press “send” there is no taking it back. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable being read aloud in a court of law.
    • Use a descriptive but short subject line which informs the receiver what the e-mail is about.
    • Don’t get overly chatty in your e-mail.
    • Be specific on the response you want and provide your contact information.
    • Make one point per e-mail. By writing separate e-mails for different points you get a clearer response from the receiver.
    • Write using complete sentences, avoid jargon and strive toward the correct tone.
    • Review the email, print it if necessary and read it aloud.
    • Don’t press the “send” button until you are truly ready and are comfortable with the message you are sending.
    • Don’t use e-mail if you require an immediate response, pick up the phone.

    Tips for Leaving Voice Mails

    • When making a call anticipate the possibility of having to leave a voice mail. Always plan ahead.
    • Leave your contact information at the beginning of the message.
    • Focus on one topic per voice mail.
    • Provide enough details so the receiver has enough information to effectively respond.
    • Speak clearly, slow down and pronounce words carefully.
    • Keep your message simple and concise.
    • State who the voice mail is for in case someone else checks them.
    • Be courteous.

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