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The Road to Effective Communication

Effective communication is like driving a vehicle. To begin we need to identify what is effective communication. Once we can provide a definition, we can then seek to determine if our own communication style is effective. For those who are able to accept their communication can improve; we identify some approaches to enhance our communication style to avoid communication crashes.

What is effective communication?Effective Communication

Effective communication concerns all of us on a regular basis, whether in personal or professional life. Communication occurs to entertain; help people reach goals, and for a number of other purposes. Just as a car needs oil, people need to develop their conversational skills to communicate effectively. This is an important skill to develop as Connecting with people is a necessary skill to promote and improve yourself in your life (regarding work and socialising).

The reason communication occurs is to distribute information so that individuals can understand one another. With all the noise around us on an ongoing basis, it is easy to understand why messages come across unclear and potentially cause disruptions. Different problems may occur that may result in a crash or the disruption of the message prevention effective communication. Therefore, effective communication is a skill that everyone can appreciate.

Effective communication is a two-way street that consists of a feedback loop. One side of the street involves dispersing the message to the receiver. On the other side of the street, the receiver’s role is to accept the message and respond accordingly.

The message sender is the vehicle driver and has the authority to formulate the message for the listener. Once the individual sends the message, they are accountable for obeying the traffic signs, stop and yield to the receiver to acknowledge At this time, the receiver becomes the sender and has the right of way. In both instances, the tone and body language are the vehicle’s blinkers that help to provide a clue to the receiver.

Although tone and language play role in face-to-face communication, other types of communication exist such as telephone, pen and paper, as well as the Internet can limit tone and body language. Face- to-face communication is rich with contextual clues, making it ideal for effective communication to occur. Meanwhile, the telephone relies on vocal clues and removes visual context. Pen and paper depend on language using word choice. Therefore, it is imperative the careful consideration be given for the selection of words so the receiver can interpret the intention of the message. Internet communication can combine elements of in person communication and written communication depending on the mode or communication platform. Examples of Internet communication include email, texting, and Skype.

How do you know if communication is effective?

When driving vehicles, we may encounter weather conditions that make driving difficult. In the winter, drivers may face snow limiting their visibility. During the summer, roads may be slick from rain limiting vehicle traction. Likewise, effective communication is not easy and the environment may decrease one’s ability to receive messages and interpretation of the message. Therefore, we need to determine if our communication is effective.

The only way to keep your vehicle running at peak conditions is to take care of it and implement preventative medicine like changing the oil. Without regular vehicle checkups, there may be problems with our vehicle when we go to use it. Checkups are important to effective communication. Thus, when communicating the sender must assess understanding of the message by asking questions and soliciting feedback. Communication checkups help to remove guesswork that may cause future inefficiencies or ineffectiveness.

Another approach for leaders to conduct checkups is to create a simple and clear message. Periodically, people need to fill their car with gas. At times, it is crucial to step back and rephrase a message to provide clarity and the fuel necessary for the receiver to accept the message.

There are times when it is just as easy to walk to location, as it is to ride. Leaders must consider their mode of transportation for their message. Is face-to-face communication necessary? Will the receiver understand the message in writing?

Not everyone is in a position to be a vehicle mechanic. Leaders can improve their communication skills and should be open to advice, recommendations, and feedback. Listening helps people to build upon the ideas of others, so they can be more effective.

What are the barriers to effective communication?

effective communicationWhen driving, we must follow the rules of the road. When communicating we need to follow the rules of the road to overcome the barrier to effective communication. The following thoughts will help you to be a better communicator.

There is No Right or Wrong to Effective Communication

When you are conversing with others, it is important not to point fingers when a communication crash occurs. Be accountable for your role in the interaction. It is advisable to focus on the message rather than the individual as it helps to avoid the blame game.

Be Approachable

When a crash occurs, both sides need to be open so that corrections can be made. When problems occur, people can become more excited than they would otherwise. These sensitive moments are easier when individuals are approachable.

Avoid Assumptions

Making assumptions can create problems that should have been preventable When communicating, be explicit and offer all the necessary information. Providing all the details will reduce the likelihood problems, and conflict will ensue.


Driving a vehicle provides an analogy for effective communication making it easy to remember. Everybody must  care for their vehicle for it to run when it is wanted For this reason, we need to reflect on our communication style and try to identify methods for improvement. Making improvements require action and getting behind the wheel so that we can reflect on ways receiving our message can become easier.  We need to regurlarly conduct communication checkups to ensure the listener receives the message. Communication tune-ups help to avoid communication crashes that are all too common because of the noise found in our environment. When we apply these tune-ups, we will find more success as leaders.


Strategic Management Needs a Plan

Define Strategic Management

Strategic Management is the methodical examination of contributing dynamics in connection with external stimuli, including customers and competitors and the organization or internal operations. Strategic management is the foundation for the creation of most advantageous practices of management. The goal of methodical examination is to improve results through the development of policies and priorities.

What is the Methodical Examination of Strategic Management?

Strategic management is the belief that there are steps leaders can take to improve and enhance organizational capabilities by implementing procedures. Thought is the catalyst for improving the process and ideally, the team comprehends the path to goal attainment. The methodical examination consists of five stages counting goal setting, examination, creation of strategy, implementing and applying the strategy, and finally reviewing the progress.


Goal setting is important to helping the team identify significant outcomes while removing potential noise that may disrupt the vision. During this stage, leaders identify both short and long-range goals for the team as they formulate the path to get from point A to point B.

There are three elements of a goal, and leaders should ensure that each point is clear. First, provide enough detail so that everyone can understand where the team should focus their energy. Second, goals should be attainable but not made too easy. Team members need to work or stretch for desirable results. Third, goals should support the organizational vision and mission. This helps to point the team in a direction while narrowing their energy and inching them closer to realizing their vision and mission.


During the examination phase, managers need to identify necessary resources. The examination phase is an opportune time to conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis is the process of reviewing organizational strengths and weaknesses in addition to creating awareness for opportunities and threats.

Creation of Strategy

Creation of strategy begins through evaluating the findings in the examination phase. This phase may also include the discovery of available resources. Leaders need to determine if there are enough resources for the team and the desirable goals. Using the SWOT analysis and the preferential outcomes as guidance, leaders need to formulate a strategy and determine which objectives take priority. This means leaders establish a plan of attack to leverage organizational strengths and capitalize on opportunities. By doing this the leader is trying to position the team to minimize their threats and strengthen weaknesses.

One thing that is for certain is that change is inevitable. For this reason, the strategic plan should account for the unexpected events. Developing multiple alternatives is important to risk mitigation.


Without actionable steps, the chance of being successful is minimal. A leader will remind the team about the vision that is in front of the team when appropriate. This vision unites the team so that teamwork becomes an organizational strength and a foundation for executing the strategic plan. When a leader supports a manager and provides them with the right resources the team gets closer to reaching their objective.

Reassessment of Progress

For strategic management to occur, there must be a reassessment of progress. People, process, and product are all areas that should be under consideration in the appraisal. Benchmarks need to be clear for the entire team. Performance metrics should support organizational goals. Routinely monitor performance to identify improvement or acknowledge problems. If the team is not progressing at a proper pace, changes may need to be made to goals, people, or process.

What Are the Attributes of Strategic Plans?

There are certain attributes or commonalities between different strategic plans. The following are attributes that are important for execution. This list is not in any order of importance, and it is not necessary to use this list as a checklist. However, your odds of success improve when these elements are present.

Objective Evaluation

An objective evaluation is necessary for analyzing available options and determining the most effective. This means that implementing strategic management involves understanding both internal and external operations.

Strategy Involves Setting Goals

Goals unite people to form teams. Strategic management involves setting goals for the team. Through teamwork, goals may be attainable but all the components of operations must work together. Lack of a clear vision leaves followers in chaos because priorities are unknown.

Values are Clear

Values provide a guide for strategic initiatives. Furthermore, when leaders combine clear values in coordination with their strengths, one is more likely to be successful. Leveraging organizational strengths allows leaders to build off an existing foundation. When values support strengths, followers will be more receptive to the strategic approach because direction will be clear and there will be less resistance.


When there is urgency, there is greater demand on people to be productive. There needs to be an emphasis on using time wisely and efficiently. All too often, distraction and noise can prevent people from responding and taking action. When there is urgency, there is a degree of motivation.

Visible Leadership

Undergoing change can present challenges. One way to combat this challenge is for leaders to be seen, management by walking around. When leaders and managers are visible, they set the tone for followers. This tone or exemplary modeling is critical to building organizational culture. Followers will fail to be supportive when there is a lack of demonstration and accountability.


Followers want to know that their leaders have the dedication to the implementation of the strategic plan. Before followers show support, they want to sense that the initiative will last rather than backtracking the next week. Leaders must demonstrate they are dedicated to the process. By showing their dedication, leaders are highlighting the importance of the set goals.

Follower Support for the Plan

For any plan to be successful, people must believe that the plan will be rewarding. When people believe in the plan, they will support the plan. One of the best ways a leader can obtain follower support is by being open and asking for input. This input makes followers feel as though they are contributing to the plan and the success of the organization.

Review Process

One cannot simply implement and plan and expect it to be successful at the onset. Moreover, even when a plan shows early signs of success it may be a false positive. In any case, leaders need to reevaluate the strategicplan by monitoring progress. Therefore, leaders should establish goals along the way, create benchmarks, and review all elements of the plan to identify opportunities.


For leaders and organizations to be successful, there must be some type of strategic plan in place. This plan consists of a methodical implementation of processes. As stated, there are a number of attributes that are common among all strategic management plans.

What step do you think is most important in the implementation process? Is there an attribute that carries more weight in the successful outcome of the plan?


Human Resources: Supporting the Team

Human Resources Supporting You

Human resources (HR) play a role that can benefit teams of all sizes. Larger teams have a greater need for an individual in this position. With human resources playing such an important role, why are human resources important? What is the function of a human-resource representative? What concerns should a HR representative be aware of regarding team dynamics?


The role of an individual in human resources is to address the people issues in a business. This function is to serve as an administrator to cover all the systems that affect behaviors of workers. Human resources support leaders in helping followers respond to changes and thus organizations of varying sizes can benefit from an individual in this role.

Typical responsibilities of an individual in human resources comprise recruitment, training and development, benefits, and performance reviews. A human-resource specialist will find success when they are capable of identifying individuals with desirable skills, provide encouragement and support, and be competent to increase retention rates.

Human Resources in Practice

In practice, human resources can boil down to 10 functions. These 10 functions may seem simplistic on the surface, but they play a significant role in building a successful team.

Human-Resource Individuals Tend to Establish First Impressions

Since the role of this position is to identify and actively seek individuals to contribute to the team the human resources representative is likely going to be one of the first people an outsider meets. Moreover, HR is responsible for training; so new members spend time with these individuals at the early stages.

Be Aware of Organizational Fit

Each team and organization are unique. When teams can differentiate themselves, they have a competitive advantage that leaders can leverage. Human resources should seek to identify capable members who can assist the current team if they wish to succeed. This means that human-resource representatives should have internal understanding within the team, so they can make efforts to match potential members with existing members.

Set Standards

Human resources individuals should set standards when they provide training. It is important new team members understand job expectations from the onset. The ideal time to begin to establishing standards is through the employee handbook or manual. Human-resource representatives should explain acceptable standards for communication, attendance, and ethics. Establishing standards helps new team members increase their chance for success.

Understand Intrinsic Rewards to Motivate

As a human resources representative, you are responsible for understanding people and discovering what motivates them. Team members value monetary rewards but people also like recognition for their efforts. Take the time to learn about the intrinsic rewards that motivate people. Leaders can As a human resources representative, you are responsible for understanding people and discovering what motivates them. Team members value monetary rewards but people also like recognition for their efforts. Take the time to learn about the intrinsic rewards that motivate people.  As a human resources representative, you are responsible for understanding people and discovering what motivates them. Team members value monetary rewards but people also like recognition for their efforts. Take the time to learn about the intrinsic rewards that motivate people. Leaders can provide incentives when they know their team member motivation.

As a human resources representative, you are responsible for understanding people and discovering what motivates them. Team members value monetary rewards but people also like recognition for their efforts. Take the time to learn about the intrinsic rewards that motivate people. Leaders can provide incentives when they know their team member motivation.

Utilize Technology to Make Systems More Effective

Today, there seems to be a tool with the objective of making processes more efficient to respond to changes in the marketplace. One of the roles of human resources is to train and develop team members. This is not to say an individual in human resources must be capable of utilizing all the tools. However, they should identify key users who they can match with others to improve training and developing.

Remain Open and Responsive

As team supporters, HR representatives should be open and foster dialogue with their team. When problems arise, team members must be able to share grievances, so they feel like individuals whom the team respects. Setting this tone of being open and responsive can be vital to the team culture because there is an increasing need for responsiveness by the customer.

Develop a Discovery and Selection Process

One of the hats that human-resource individuals must wear is the development of a discovery and selection process to create a talent pool. People who work in human resources can leverage social media to create a brand but also call upon supporters and users to fulfill vacancies on the team. They must routinely reach out a hand to find new members who can contribute to the team.

Model of Consistency

Team members desire fairness and consistency. When it comes to policies and procedures, members want to know their application is the same across the board and there are no favorites. They need to know that specific actions will attract positive outcomes. Without consistency, people begin to lose respect and problems can ensue.

Developing Individuals and Matching People with Responsibilities

Everyone has unique skills and HR representatives should try to match people’s strengths with specific responsibilities. In some cases, a person in this position may need to recruit people from other teams in an effort to get the best people. Organizations and teams compete for finite assets, if your team fails to progress, they risk losing in the long term.

Participate in Team Activities

Individuals who participate in team activities learn about the team and potential opportunities. Engaging with the team allows HR individuals to anticipate changing demands. They also help team formation and sustainability of the team’s culture.

Human-Resource Concerns

There are three human-resource concerns that should be under consideration when helping to form a team, and they are demographics, diversity, and skills or qualifications.

Demographics concern the individual characteristics of a team and may include age, sex, or social class. Demographics are a concern because it may influence costs or changing demands from the team.

Diversity refers to distinction within the team. It is not necessary that all teams comprise a great deal of visual diversity. However, organizations and businesses should have a team that reflects the target market. If the goal is to service a market, from a particular demographic, one will likely find more success when the team has a member who matches the demographic.

It is important to understand the law of supply and demand as it applies to staffing. Some jobs require a higher degree of expertise while others do not. When the demand for technical expertise is high and few people possess the necessary skills, human resources representatives need to find manners to provide more compensation. On the other hand, when the demand for technical expertise is low and there are many people available to fulfill the need it may not be necessary to provide as much compensation.

Does your team have a human-resource representative? What other functions does a human-resource representative play on your team? What other concerns should an HR representative be aware of regarding team dynamics?