Ensure Effective Communication – By Greg Kligman, for Training Magazine MAY/JUNE 2020 issue
The key is awareness: that people have a particular communication style, and that navigating between styles is a learned skill.
“We need to improve our communication.” As a business-communications training firm, we hear this a lot. And they’re right—organizations understand that the degree to which their people communicate effectively is proportional to their success. But what does it mean exactly to improve communication? What makes communication effective? Is it listening? Clarity? Empathy? Grammar? These are certainly important and all worthy of mastery. But first, an often-neglected yet critical element must be addressed: that people have different communication styles.
Today’s workforce spans at least three generations. Broadly speaking, these cohorts lean toward distinct communication styles. And when people with conflicting styles interact, communication can break down fast. Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to prevent this, to ensure communication flows well between individuals, departments, and throughout the organization as a whole. Here are three key strategies that will improve communication in your organization:
1. Understand that people have distinct communication styles, and these are not necessarily tied to their personality.