Communication Clarity – The Importance of Clear Communication (part 2)
Welcome to our blog post, part 2 (of 2) on communication clarity! In part 1 (which you can check out here), we started off by outlining some of the most important points to consider when it comes to the topic of business communication. Clear and concise communication is an all-to-often overlooked topic and in part 1, we highlighted the need to consider aspects such as the audience, the objective, and the style, when it comes to crafting such communications. With those factors in mind, let us now take a look at a few more important communication aspects to consider!
Method – which communication medium will best suit your goal?
In this modern age, with a multitude of communication options and mediums available, it is important to choose the most appropriate method of communication for the task at hand. Emails and online-messaging platforms obviously have their place as valuable, fully- or semi-instantaneous communication tools, yet such tools are not always the most ideal and appropriate forms of communication.
At the time of writing this article, with the world-wide virus pandemic reducing face-to-face communication possibilities, and instead increasing world-wide reliance on online methods of communication (such as video-conferencing and emails etc.) communication options are obviously a little more restricted at this current time.
Yet, once things are back to normal (hopefully!) it is important to realise that phone calls or online meetings should be fine for most situations. Yet, many businesses still argue that face-to-face communication is certainly still important as the most effectual and respectful form of communication for valued clients, colleagues, associates, or prospects.
“Replacing paper with a PC screen doesn’t change the need for clear, precise communication.” – Writing that Works (Kenneth Roman; Joel Raphaelson)
Execution – the better your execution, the better your goal is achieved.
Communication clarity also entails clear communication both internally (within your team or business) and externally (to customers and associates). Essentially, with such communication, it is usually best to think like a professional, and execute your communication clearly, concisely, and professionally, regardless of whether your audience is an internal team, or an external client.
The better you plan your communication with the previous points in mind, the better you should be able to execute. Unclear, jargon-filled, sloppy dialogue might not be a total disaster within a close-knit team or a with a long-term business associate, yet if you are approaching new customers or prospects, your communication really ought to be clear and well executed.
You can have the best ideas or goals or plans in the world, but if you cannot effectively communicate those to your target audience, your communication goals may be lost in translation, and thus not successfully actualised.
“Although we live in an information technology age, we often find ourselves in failure to communicate situations.” – Johnny Tan (author / mentor)
Feedback – Did you ensure that your message was received and understood?
Finally, the concept of ‘feedback’ is one that all-to-often gets overlooked. The concept is essentially as follows – was your communication both successfully received and successfully understood?
In professional military organisations, this concept is understood and dealt with very effectively. In most armies, for example, if an officer orders or communicates with a subordinate and the subordinate successfully understands the communication, then the subordinate will almost always answer with a reply akin to ‘yes, Sir’ or ‘understood, Sir.’ Failing this, the subordinate will ask for the officer to repeat the order or communication.
Aside from the aspect of imposing hierarchical respect and courtesy, the reply also provides a way to ensure that the officer understands that his or her subordinate has successfully received and understood the communication. A similar example can be found with military radio communications, with the word ‘roger’ or ‘roger that’ being used to confirm successful acknowledgment of military radio communications.
Whilst, business communication does not usually possess the same gravitas as military communication, the concept of ‘feedback’ is still the same. For true communication clarity to be achieved, it is necessary to ensure that some sort of feedback is received from your communication target. This is in order that you can be sure that that the communication was both successfully received and understood. Effectively, ‘feedback’ thus allows you to evaluate and gauge the effectiveness of your communication.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw (playwright).
In conclusion, the concept of communication clarity effectively includes all of the above aspects, as well as the points covered in our Communication Clarity blog post part 1. Business communication, to be truly effective, should be tailored carefully with aspects such as the audience, objective, style, method, and execution all taken into careful consideration, among other things. Your goal should be clear, your style and communication medium appropriate, and your communication (in its entirety), concise and effective.
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