Last night Trish was the key note speaker at the Key Business Network Meeting in Milton. She chose to speak about the importance of effective communication.
This obviously struck a chord with the audience as she was inundated with questions on how they could use effective communication in their presentations.
And so today, I have decided to talk about those two same principles on the blog.
Firstly we need to understand the importance of communication – it is the core aspect of leadership and an essential tool of management. Yet, in 1998 a report from the Harvard School of Business indicated that about 60% of all business communication was ineffective. Unfortunately, a Leadership Employment and Direction White Paper issued in July this year by Leadership Management Australia demonstrated that not much had changed.
Most senior managers or business leaders are convinced that their communication skills are effective, while a similar number of their employers claim that they have no idea what is going on! Ineffective communication is as much of a problem as it ever was – ten years on.
So if we accept the importance of communication, why are we getting it so wrong?
The truth is reflected in those figures from LMA – executives believe that the problem does not lie with them, but with the listeners. However, the responsibility for clear communication lies with the originator – it is up to them to ensure that the communication was delivered and received effectively. So don’t blame your staff if they don’t know what is going on – you have not communicated properly.
The first of Trischel’s principle of communication addresses one of the reasons why we can be ineffective – we confuse conversation with effective communication. Conversation is relationship based, and we pick and choose what we want to share. We can refrain from giving our true opinion on a topic out of respect for the other person – we do not want to offend or hurt their feelings. We may withhold certain facts that may embarrass us, or put us into an unfavourable light.
We cannot do that with business communication – while we may choose to put it tactfully we are duty bound to be correct, clear and concise. We cannot pick and choose what to share; we cannot fudge facts or lie.
And yet, so many of us mistakenly believe that a conversational style will result in effective business communication. It will not.
Principle No 1 – Conversation is not Effective Business Communication.
Secondly we misjudge the aim of business communication. If Conversation is relationship based, then effective communication is goal orientated. We need communication to be understood for a purpose. We need to know the OH&S brief has been fully understood; we want to advise the line manager precisely what is needed to be done, and we definitely want that sales pitch to succeed.
And so we build effective communication to achieve the purpose. And that needs balance.
We need to ensure that our facts, figures and arguments are credible and believable; and to do this we need to organise and structure our communication to say exactly what we want it to say – and nothing more. This part of the process is known as the Intellectual Content. It makes us accurate.
But giving our client or our supervisors just the facts builds no commitment from them to implement our goals. We need to create an emotional connection with the listener that will lead to them buying into the goal. We do that by using appropriate body language and gestures, plus the energy and enthusiasm created by good vocal techniques.
So Trischel’s 2nd Principle of Communication is a formula
Effective Business Communication = Intellectual Content + Emotional Connection – or
EBC = Ic + Ec
It sounds simple when you say it quickly! – However it does require a clear understanding of how these can be put into practical effect. For that, you need to talk to us.
Trischel are experts in Personal Communication Development – and we are determined to bring that figure of 60% ineffective communication down.
If you too are serious about creating effective communication then together we can work towards achieving both our goals.
Michele @ Trischel
Communication Training*Leadership*Management*Self Development