Effective Communication by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

By meggin@meggin.com
In General
Dec 2nd, 2013

While it’s impossible to teach a person to be an effective communicator in the two minutes it will take you to read this email, there are certain commonalities that effective communicators possess. Do you think strategically about the following when you communicate?

  1. With whom are you communicating? Have you considered such elements as age, gender, language barriers, and previous interactions with this person?
  2. What is the situation? Is the communication basically positive or negative?
  3. Have you set aside sufficient time for this communication? Think back to previous communication events similar to this one, make your best estimate, and then allow additional time reserves (also known as ‘pockets’).
  4. Is this a “telling” communication (your task at hand is to tell someone else information) or is it a “requesting/sharing” communication (you need information that someone else has).
  5. Are you prepared to change your mind during the course of the communication? Do you expect the other person to change his/her mind?
  6. Is the purpose of your communication to inform, persuade or entertain? Each of these involves a different mindset and it’s  helpful to think about your purpose prior to your meeting or other encounter, when possible.
  7. What exactly are you trying to say? Consider writing it down and being as succinct as possible; it will help you clarify in your own mind.
  8. Why are you trying to say what you’re saying? Was the communication your idea or someone else’s?
  9. What are you hoping to accomplish as a result of the communication?  Be clear on your ‘intention’ and stay focused on that.
  10. Do you have an “agenda” (either hidden or overt)?

Effective communication leads to productivity. Ineffective communication detracts from productivity (and from relationships, reputation, and so forth). It’s worth the time to think strategically through the questions above prior to your communications with others. Eventually, it will become second nature, but if it’s not at this point, then print out this list to have for handy reference.

So What Do You Do? - eBook CoverAnd to help you get clear about communicating who you are, what you do, and why it matters, access the well-received teleseminar So, What Do You Do? Available for immediate download!