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Effective Communication Style

7 Tips in Communicating at Work

Dear business owners, what is your communication style?  Are you always putting pressure on your subordinates, commanding action, blamming and pointing finger?  In fact, we are more effective when we communicate with other people to find solutions instead of finding faults. Here are few tips we would like to share with you…..

1. It’s not what we say, but how we say it!

Research has shown that in effective communication, words account for only 7% of communication, 38% from our tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from our body language.  If you are talking to someone and he just sits back and reads book, it won’t be long before you sense his lack of interest.  But if he stops what he is doing, sits up, makes eye contact with you, you will know he is paying attention to you.  Beware of your body language!

2. Listen emphatically

Most communication breakdown because there are more talking than listening.  We have two ears and only one mouth, please listen! Listen to your subordinates, peers, customers, suppliers and most importantly, listen to your heart.  Listen with intent to understand, you might discover a whole new world of paradigm which you have never experienced before.

3. Attack issues, not people

Effective communicators solve problems rather than judge others and command action.  Please do not put others on the defensive and inflame their emotion.  Take a minute to compare these two lists of effective and ineffective communication approach:

Ineffective Approach Effective Approach
Attacks people Attack problems
Use negative labels Avoid negative labels
Speak generally Speak specifically
Pressures Communicates
Judges Offers feedback
Pushes Challenge
Drives Motivates
“Here is what I want you to do…” “What do you think if we…”
“Why are you doing that?” “Tell me about this project.”
“Your performance is unsatisfactory.” “What can I do to make you perform better?”

4. Use memos to communicate

Some people prefer quiet working places, but others like to talk to someone directly.  A large amount of time can be wasted if we choose to communicate messages directly.  By using written communications such as memos or e-mail, everyone can concentrate his or her work in peace without interruptions.

5. Do not assume

Do you agree that the main killer in communication is assuming?  With different backgrounds, beliefs and values, people are just not the same.  Please DO NOT ASSUME everything will happen exactly as they expected.  Check things out if we are not clear in order to minimise mistakes, misunderstanding, disagreements and conflict.

6. Follow up

This is a story about four people, Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.  Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blammed Somebody when actually Nobody asked Anybody.  How many times things went wrong because you assume that everything will be fine?  Therefore, if something is extremely IMPORTANT to you, just FOLLOW UP.

7. Keep everyone informed

Most people need clear guideline and direction to perform task perfectly. To prevent brewing trouble in the company, all people who need to know a particular piece of information must be kept informed.  This happens especially to top performers as they are often very sensitive of not being informed; not clear of what is expected and what is happening in an organisation.  Tips to retain top performers, keep them INFORMED and be part of your team.

© 2010 SH Tan Consulting Group