WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: A Recipe for Great Communication
A great idea is nothing without great communication. It doesn’t matter how sweet the grapes you grow are—if you can’t persuade people to eat them they’ll die on the vine. Being able to paint a compelling picture through effective communication is a vital part of any endeavor.
When it comes to great communication, engaging your audience is only one part of the equation. Listening and understanding are also extremely important. Being aware of the needs and perspectives of others can help ensure that your message is effectively received. That feedback loop is especially important when you’re trying to tailor your message to a specific audience. How will you know that you’re communicating your ideas clearly if you’re not paying attention to how they’re being received?
In this short video, executive coach Jennifer Bridges explains her 7 Secrets for Effective Team Communication that center around the concept that people think and communicate differently. It also makes a strong case for the importance of empathy—it helps us recognize the different styles and needs of others.
What are the elements of great communication?
This video by The Latimer Group breaks down the Recipe for Great Communication. According to the video, it takes 5 ingredients:
Taking these five “ingredients” as a starting point, we can go deeper into specific ways you can communicate more effectively:
- Know your message. Expertise is crucial to building trust with an audience. If you don’t sound like you know what you’re talking about people aren’t going to listen.
- Make sure you are understood. Whether you’re presenting something in person or over Zoom or email, check in with people to make sure they’re following you. Leave space, when appropriate, for questions.
- Deliver your message in the proper context. The right time and place are essential for great communication.
- Use appropriate emotions and tones. How you say something is just as important as what you are saying. The same applies for text: spelling errors and faulty grammar can make you look unprofessional and sloppy.
- Be a good non-verbal communicator. Inclusivity is an important part of effective communication. Don’t assume that everyone in the room can hear or understand you without effort. Having visual aids, handouts, slides, or even an ASL interpreter on-hand shows respect for your audience. If you put the effort in to meet people where they are at, they will return the favor.