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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Improving Communication by Bridging the Gaps

The words we choose and how we relate information can have a huge impact on how effective we are in communicating our needs and wants to others. In the workplace, where multiple cultures and backgrounds abound, it becomes especially important to ensure that communication is effective and goal oriented. Communication skill and personality will determine how successful the process is.

Effective communication requires the full attention of all individuals involved. If one is distracted or working on something else they will be cognitively distracted and unable to process all of the information fully. They will also be giving off a signal that they are preoccupied that can break down the communication process.

It is also helpful to stay focused on the main discussion and state ideas as clearly and concisely as possible. Beating around the bush and mincing your words creates mixed messages that confuses people. They won't understand your main points if you don't say it in as simple terms as possible.

Make sure that channel interference is not occurring. Important conversations should not be conducted in the middle of a party. Noise and constant stimuli only detract from message retention. This leads to people filling in the blanks of what they heard and not heard to create their own construction of events that differ among the participants.

All information is interpreted based on the historical perspective the individuals. Two people can experience the same thing but make different meaning out of that stimuli. They simply interpret events base on past schematic coding of previous information. The past determines how you understand the present.

Finally, it is beneficial to recap on the main points and invite the possibility to clarify any points. Recapping ensures you briefly state or repeat back the main points and questions help clarify any gaps. This often occurs informally through the reciprocal process of community. As you become aware of your communication process you will be able to improve upon it for effectiveness to achieve the goals you want.


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