Communication is defined as the process of transferring information and meaning between senders and receivers, using one or more written, oral, visual or electronic channels. Simply put, communication is the exchange of information between people. With such a simple definition, you would think the process is an easy one that never results in any misunderstandings. The question remains, however, with all the platforms to communicate in place, why are so many people still getting it wrong? National Operations Manager of The Fish & Chip Co, Werner Hedder, shares some insights into the topic of communication and what can be done to make it more effective.
It is no secret that the key to a fruitful relationship (either work or personal) lies in effective communication. When in a leadership role in business, whether it be that of a manager or owner, proper communication is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. Effective communication plays a significant role in the success of the business, as communication works to send information, monitor behaviour, motivate production and encourage spending.
You’re communicating right if:
1. You communicate face-to-face, often
By communicating one-on-one, your presence will be known and expected. By being visible among colleagues and staff, you are allowing your team mates to get to know and understand you better. It’s easy to hide behind a computer and transmit messages to others without seeing or interacting with them. Although e-communication serves a valuable purpose, it is no substitute for face-to-face communication. At The Fish & Chip Co. various regional managers have been appointed to visit franchisees on a regular basis, not only to check on their stores, but also to make a more personal connection with the owners and staff. This familiarity assists in building trust within the group also.
2.You communicate in simple and understandable terms
Effective communicators know that not everyone in the team will always be on the same page when it comes to vocabulary. When communicating in simple terms, that is easy for all to understand, misunderstandings will be reduced as the team will understand what is being said.
3. You encourage feedback
Asking for feedback after a message is shared is important to not only ensure the message was well understood, but also to measure the effectiveness of your style of communication.
Your communications efforts need work if:
1. You only communicate over email
While many companies generally converse over email, the importance of utilising other channels are vital in building and sustaining relationships. Yes, email does enable you to pass messages to members of your team without pulling them out of their work stations and also leaves a traceable message thread, however, email alone will not solidify a relationship.
2. You don’t listen to your team members
Communication is intended to be a two way street and talking without listening will lead to major congestion. The easiest way to take note of listening more than speaking is by remembering you have two ears and one mouth. Not only will it avoid conflict, but your team mates will also feel respected.
3. You use the wrong tone of voice
One word can have a different meaning when said in a different tone of voice. Make sure you use the appropriate tone to communicate with your team so that your message won’t be misunderstood and perceived incorrectly. The tone of your voice, coupled with your body language will have a greater impact on how your message is conveyed and received.
Communication, like relationships, will always come with a host of challenges. The fact of the matter is, two people who communicate will always have their differences. These differences could be due to barriers such as culture, language or even age and background, or a host of many other uncontrollable factors. Whether communicating with one or more than 300 people (as in the case of The Fish & Chip Co. franchisees), communication done right, will always be the key to success in business.
Opinion piece shared by PR Worx.