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Effective Communication Strategies: The Connection

effective communication strategies strategies

In an effort to understand effective communication strategies we are going to provide some examples of common communication styles and provide you with an overview of key strategies so that you can start implementing these ideas today.  This post will then try to identify barriers that prevent individuals from implementing effective communication strategies.  One of the areas that can be particularly troublesome is dealing with conflicts.

It is important to try to provide enough detail on this topic because it is one of the greatest challenges facing managers and leaders.  Communicating to large groups, especially for people in new positions can be scary.  Therefore, it is important to spend time on understanding effective communication strategies.

Common Communication Styles

There is a number of familiar communication styles one may find during the day.  Communication styles refer to the mannerisms that an individual display during a conversation.  As such, the description of the communication style rests with the message receiver, and their understanding and interpretation from the words and nonverbal cues provided by the communicator.

Communication styles you will typically see through the course of a day include specific, well-reasoned, confident, supportive, expressive, and forceful.  The specific style attempts to provide details of a situation while avoiding language that others may interpret as ambiguous.  Those individuals who employ a well-reasoned approach try to sway their audience by connecting the dots through outlining their thoughts and providing reasoning to draw conclusions in a persuasive manner.  At times, you will see a communicator who is confident in their skills and avoid hesitation when it comes to making judgments.  Supportive speakers try to connect with their listener by identifying the listener’s morals and emotions so that can display their compassion.  Expressive reporters demonstrate their command over language through wit and passion.  The last example of a typical communication style is forceful.  A forceful orator seeks to be authoritative in a subject and thus may appear aggressive or threatening.

The subject matters may elicit a different response of communication style from an individual.  Therefore, each conversation should be treated as a new experience.  Many different elements could impact a response.  Just because you had a similar conversation does not project to the same communication style but may help you prepare for the conversation.

Overview of Key Strategies

Successful teams are able to communicate with one another in a fashion that allows people to understand the message.  Communication involves both speaking and In an effort to understand effective communication strategies we are going to provide you with some examples of common communication styles and provide you with an overview of key strategies so that you can start implementing these ideas today.  This post will then try to identify barriers that prevent individuals from implementing effective communication strategies.  One of the areas that can be particularly troublesome is dealing with conflicts.

It is important to try to provide enough detail on this topic because it is one of the greatest challenges facing managers and leaders.  Communicating to large groups, especially for people in new positions can be scary.  Therefore, it is important to spend time on understanding effective communication strategies.

Overview of Key Strategies

Successful teams are able to communicate with one another in a fashion that allows people to understand the message.  Communication involves both speaking and listening effectively.  There are key strategies for communication that you must understand prior to diving into the barriers that prevent effective communication strategies.

 Top Effective Communication Strategies

  1.  Create a Culture of Openness
  2. Listen
  3. Allow Others to Speak
  4. Take Time to Understand Your Audience
  5. Establish Communication Goals
  6. Be Honest
  7. Provide Details But Be Concise When Possible
  8. Be Conscious of Body Language
  9. State Message Repeatedly and Consistently
  10. Provide Updates as Necessary

Barriers Preventing Effective Communication

Barriers preventing effective communication strategies from being successful.  More specifically barriers prevent listeners from receiving the messages from the communicator in three categories listening, perception, and verbal language.

During a conversation, we tend to think about what we are going to say next, which prevents us from listening to the other individual.  Conversely, when the speaker provides us with too much information, we have less time to digest the information.  In the end, we only catch one nugget, and the rest goes unheard.

Another barrier to listening includes a failure to be open to receiving the message as we are critical of the speaker.  Contrarily, a word or a phrase may create emotional excitement that we latch onto and miss the remaining information.  Nevertheless, another potential limitation stems from our surrounding environment where the conversation is taking place creating a distraction.

A second category of communication barriers surrounds perception.  Examples of these categorical barriers include stereotyping, making assumptions, and mismatching that occurs between body language and word choice.  Stereotyping occurs because people enjoy making comparisons because experiential knowledge helps people understand a situation.  Unfortunately, it does not take long for an individual to create generalizations based on a couple of spoken or nonverbal cues.  Stereotyping and assumptions have a close relationship.  When we take the time to make assumptions, we begin thinking and stop listening.  When we fail to listen, we fail to be open to the ideas that come from the communicator.

When we articulate we are responsible for pairing our word with our body language to ensure the message is coherent.  Failure to send firm messages can lead to an obscure message to the listener.  A vague message has the potential to freeze its audience due to uncertainty in the message.

Word choice, generalizations, and missing passion or enthusiasm are all examples that prevent listeners from understanding the message.  Choosing five dollar words is not always understood with 100% certainty.  Additionally, choosing technical words are not consistently interpreted correctly.  The word choice from the speaker must match the familiarity with the target audience.  As a speaker, you need to provide as much detail as necessary and not simply provide generalizations.  As a leader, if you want something done in a precise manner, you may need to provide exact directions depending on the requirements of the task.  Finally, a listener needs to believe in your message, and that stems from the passion, enthusiasm, and confidence of the speaker.  The extra energy you display leads to greater importance and value the listener understands, which translates into value.  A lack of passion can translate into lack of conviction and importance in the message.

Strategies for Effective Communication

Listener starts with focusing one’s energy on the speaker.  To improve listening skills one needs to stop passing judgments and quiet one’s mind, so they can be alert to the message passed by the communicator.  This means observing the body language in accordance with word choice.  Paying attention to both body language and word choice provides a more in-depth understanding of the message.

Moreover, remember the golden rule and put yourself in the shoes of the speaker to appreciate the energy behind the message.  At this time, it is appropriate to show the speaker empathy and asks questions.  Questions not only show you are engaged in the discussion but also offered the opportunity to receive clarification concerning any unclear point.

When it is your turn to speak, take a moment to reflect and identify any assumptions you may possess.  After reflection, you may find that you have supplemental questions or find that you have the desire to offer constructive feedback.

Some extra strategies for effective communication include being aware of the distinction between the issue and the person.

Avoid attacking the speaker and concern yourself with the matter of discussion.  This point can be challenging, but you will find more success when avoid managing other but simply provide your thoughts on the topic.  Furthermore, when interjecting your ideas be truthful and honest with yourself and other individuals.

Recognize your experiences provide you with a valuable perspective.  Your insight has merit.  When someone chooses to involve in a discussion with you, they are showing you respect and have a desire for the knowledge you possess.

Traps When Dealing with Conflict

Effective communication strategies are particularly helpful in dealing with conflict.  When you are able to manage conflict, you will be more likely to experience success.  Whenever people work together, there is a risk of conflict due to a difference of opinions and other reasons.

The above-mentioned strategies for effective communication strategies are all relevant when dealing with conflict.  It is important proactive active listening techniques and match body language with word selection.

Another fruitful approach to handling conflict is using “I” statements.  When the speaker uses “I” statements, they are trying to be accountable for their actions.  Following this course of action will reduce defensive mechanisms from the other person.  When the speaker uses I instead of you, they avoid blaming the other person and remove barriers.
It is imperative to avoid the following traps: advising, diagnosing, discounting, lecturing, threatening, and preaching.  These traps put the responsibility on the other individual.  By using “I” statements, one has the capability of taking ownership of those actions they can change.  Moreover, when addressing people, with “I” statements, the other person will likely mirror this response and become aware of their actions allowing the two parties to come to a mutually beneficial solution.

Conclusion

There are many components to effective communication strategies.  In an effort to understand how these strategies play a role, there was discussion about common communication strategies.  After identifying popular approaches to communication, we offered some reasoning for why you should work on developing effective communication strategies.  For those interested in the skinny, we provide our top 10 checklist of effective communication strategies.  Since we do not live in a perfect world, we thought it was significant to highlight barriers that would prevent implementation of these strategies.  To overcome communication barriers we went into more depth concerning the strategies we feel are consequential for effective communication.  Finally, working on our communication skills is important because we frequently fight fire dealing with conflict as leaders, so we examine common traps tied to conflict.

What effective communication strategies are you likely to implement?  Have you tried implementing any of these strategies, what was your experience?

 

 

 

About the Author David

David Moriarty writes about leadership, life purpose, and cancer recovery. He is a teacher who works with youth. Previously he overcame his battle with cancer. Currently he is pursuing a degree in leadership.

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