Toward More Powerful Communication

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Verbal communication plays a major role in our daily activities in the workplace. It is easier to send and receive the right message when you understand the effect that your presentation has on others. Great communicators like Ronald Reagan always use simple language so that their listeners never need a dictionary to understand what is on their minds. Their messages depend on ideas that are easy to express and remember. "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" is an example that Reagan used during his 1980 presidential campaign. Stay away from big words or complicated phrases that waste time and mental energy.

Become a More Dynamic Leader Through Effective Communication:

  • Ineffective communication often results in poor cooperation and coordination, lower productivity, undercurrents of tension, gossip and rumors, and increased turnover and absenteeism. 
  • Understand that communication is a two-way street. It involves giving information and getting feedback from employees. Listen to your employees and show respect for them when they speak. They will see that they are part of the team and will tend to be more dedicated and productive. 
  • Ask yourself if your messages are clear. Most vagueness is caused by failing to be specific. Example: Don't just tell an employee to "show more interest" in his or her work. If an employee is inattentive or spends too much time chatting with others, be specific about your concerns and provide direction for solving the problem. 
  • Use lively colorful language. Remember that stories and examples hold the attention of your subordinates. Don't rely mainly on bulletin boards, memos and other written communication. Use specific language and direct communication whenever you can. 
  • Concentrate on building credibility with employees. Return phone calls promptly and deliver information when you promise it. Supervisors and managers who lack credibility and fail to create a climate of trust and openness aren't believed . . . no matter how hard they try to communicate.