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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Wanted, a Leader

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Supervising People and the Art of Listening

In a typical day we spend over 45 percent of our time listening. Effective listening is critical to any supervisor’s success. The US Department of Labor statistics revealed in a 1999 study that 46 percent of people that quit their job did so because they felt unheard and underappreciated. Good listening skills benefit both your [...]

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Common Traits of Leaders

A long time ago leaders were thought to be born with the ability to lead, however, because of contributions in psychology we have been able to identify common traits that leader, past and today, possess. The great thing about these traits is that they can be learned, developed and refined by anyone with the desire [...]

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Tips on Motivating Employees

Motivating employees can be a challenging task when learning how to supervise people. In order to drive your employees to be perform at their best it helps to understand what motivates people. This article discusses some of the key factors that motivate people. Understanding these factors can help in finding the right solutions in motivating [...]

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Leadership Is A Process, Not A Position

I am not one to get star struck, nor am I interested in obtaining autographs and such. However, one person I have always admired and wanted to meet is Colin Powell. Since I can remember, I have been aware of the way in which he carries himself, speaks, and has the confidence that makes you [...]

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Swimming with the Sharks – Strike in the Workplace

Helpful advice is always . . . well, helpful. Often those who have had success are quick to give advice and little “tips” they have learned along the way. Sometimes these pieces of knowledge are helpful, but often I have personally found them to be personal pats on the backs without much personal substance. The [...]

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Take Time to Ask Questions and Listen

“The people in the field are closest to the problem, closest to the situation, therefore that is where real wisdom is.” When we are the ones in the trenches, we know this statement to be true. However, it is once we are on the outside and no longer in control of the situation, the idea [...]

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Types of Presentation Visual Aids

There are several types of visual aids that work well when giving a presentation. It is helpful to practice using them before actually delivering the presentation. All visual aids should be free of grammatical errors and clutter. When presenting describe the content and add a few anecdotes or meaningful details. Do not ready your aids [...]

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Achieving Synergy

Synergy is when resources are optimized through systems management. The optimization through shared power, shared resources, and collaboration for the greater benefit of all can be expressed by the term “synergy” which is derived from the two words “synchronized energy”. Achieving synergy in a program design requires a different set of skills from those used [...]

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