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What do you mean, you don’t understand

A new Nextiva survey reveals that there is a communication crisis causing 30% of companies to lose customers and/or employees and it is causing 63% of employees from reaching weekly goals.

Under-communication, lack of communication, miscommunication, whatever you want to call it, is a widespread and detrimental problem. In fact a survey conducted by About.com found that 62% of workers did not like their jobs because of poor communication.

What are the major problems?

  1. Lack of direction from management.
  2. Poor communication overall.
  3. Constant change that is not well communicated.

Specifically the Jive Team found that when you look at communication which would take place between the company to employees, employees to the company, employees to employees, and most importantly the company to clients; there were four major communication challenges.

  1. Inability to facilitate efficient business communications
  2. Overcompensating for apparent communication issues
  3. Burnout caused by constantly being connected
  4. Scattered employee base

How are your communication skills? More importantly, how is your listening skills? Yes, I am sad to tell you that listening is the biggest part of effective communication. As a CEO, business owner, partner, manager, marriage partner, or parent clearly and concisely communicating and listening is integral to your success.

Many of us think we are good at communicating, but are we?

  1. Can you draft a coherent communique?
  2. Are you able to share your vision with clarity?
  3. Can you actively listen and focus on what people are saying?
  4. Do you take the time to process and think about all of the factors that are important to the issue at hand?
  5. Can you dig deeper and think of the unintended consequences?

 

Here are Groot’s Proverbs to Incredible Communication.

Writing

  1. Each communique should answer the Who, What, Where, When and How. If you don’t answer these questions people are left guessing.
  2. Write short, clear sentences, maximum three to a paragraph. People disassociate if they have to “read” to much.
  3. Before sending a letter of any kind, wait at least 30 minutes to review it to make sure you wrote what you intended to say. If an idea can be misunderstood in any way – it will.
  4. When responding to someone, number the questions they ask you and make sure that you answer each and every query.
  5. Eliminate any unnecessary words. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Speaking

  1. 55 percent of your message is conveyed through non-verbal cues. Be totally cognizant of your posture, expression, and body movements.
  2. Tell people what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. Never assume people will get it on the first blush.
  3. Use words, storytelling, and enthusiasm to get your point across.
  4. Start strong and end strong.
  5. Communication is a two-way operation – watch your audience, focus on the person or people you are talking with.
  6. Make eye contact.
  7. Smile
  8. Stay on topic

Listening

  1. Face the speaker, be interested, and maintain eye contact.
  2. We all have an eight second attention window – ask questions.
  3. Always wait till the person is completely finished talking – period.
  4. Provide feedback.
  5. Avoid internal and external distractions.
  6. Follow up on what matters.

People always say that the best investment is the investment in yourself. I firmly believe that it starts with learning how to effectively communicate. Experts love to write that you must keep your employees on the cutting edge of productivity – I maintain that productivity starts with effective communication. This brings a whole new level to putting your money where your mouth is!