I’ve dealt with a variety of different businesses, people, and politicians. There’s a few basic things I’ve learnt over the years to have successful communication. Let’s start with the basics. Be respectful, listen and try to understand from the others point of view. This might seem like something that everyone knows however in a variety of situations, one or all of these can fall out.

Think About The Medium

There are a variety of different technologies for internal communications so it’s important to find the right one for the right message. A phone call may take more, or waste time, however It’s lot more personable and can increase the relationship between the two individuals. It’s also quick and you can get a response immediately from the person on the other end. Another thing to think about is phone and verbal communications aren’t always monitored. So this can lead to legal issues down the line of what the two parties might have talked about.

Are you using the most up to date medium?

If your still using email for internal communication in 2020 you need to update yourself. There are much better technologies for internal communication then there were 15 years ago. Microsoft Teams and Slack are a couple of programs that are much better designed for internal communications. Email threads get lost, people get confused, and there’s no track record of the teams communication.

On a side note it’s really great to have systems with what I call “Leaky Communications” where all individuals in the company can look through the non-classified conversations to either innovate, learn, or simply get to know the team mates better. There are multiple studies, which show it’s a really good thing.

Are you thinking about the response?

What will happen once you give this person a message, or group? How will they respond? How will they feel? Will the message lead to a chain of messages up the hierarchy? Will a group, or individual respond? What medium will they use to respond to you? Will the message initiate an action? I could go on but these are some questions to think about answering before sending. Messages can be influential and have the power to initiate or change behaviour. 

How did you encode the message?

Message encoding may seem likes an elusive term but it’s simply writing or the creation of the message. Were you thinking about the receiver on the other end when you encoded it? You might want to add a personal note. Does the message you’ve created meet the needs of its audience? Is it clear? Does it make sense? An engineer talking to bureaucrat is very different to engineer talking to an engineer. People have different languages, beliefs, and understandings.

On a last note NOISE

We know at on all levels in the communication process it encounters noise. This is particularly important when communicating to a group. If someone leaves a note to a group and is unclear about how to solve a particular problem meaning gets created. People interrupt messages differently and will give their interpretation effecting the decoding of the message maybe against your intention. We’ve all been workplaces where the message hasn’t clear from a particular team member and we’ve had “clear it up” is a perfect example.