Five ways to effective communication

By Cambridge NetworkCommunication plays a fundamental role in all aspects of business. As so much of our communication is now virtual, it's more important than ever to get it right.

Effective communication graphic

Communicating effectively in negotiations is crucial to achieve your goals.

Effective communication is also very important within a business as it can help to foster good working relationships which can, in turn, greatly improve morale and efficiency in your company. 

What will aid effective communication? 

  1. Understand the relationship between effective communication and organisational success 
    If you have a piece of information to share, you can’t do this effectively until it is clearly defined and you know who your audience is. Think about these objectives so you know how to accomplish the task. It’s also important to recognise the potential implications of miscommunication. Put yourself in others’ shoes and look at the way you communicate, then adapt the communication to your specific audience. This will greatly reduce the possibility of misunderstanding.

  1. Listening is key 
    Imparting what we want to share is only half of it! Listening skills are a large part of the equation and this reinforces the two-way understanding that people need to really communicate effectively. Maybe challenge yourself to put the needs of others ahead of your own and learn to listen. (Try also reading an email at least twice before replying, to ensure you understand it - and avoid jumping to conclusions. )

  1. Consider passive communication and the non-verbal image 
    In this digital age there’s a relatively new phenomenon, where social media channels leave an electronic footprint even when you aren’t actively participating. It’s therefore important to monitor your online presence and manage social media just to ensure that you’ve not giving out the wrong message.    In person (IRL), there’s also a lot to consider about the way that you deliver a message, not just the words that are used. Think about the speed of delivery and the volume of your voice. Making sufficient eye contact and hand gestures are also important, particularly for those in public speaking. 

  2. Build relationships
    Relationships often develop well between people who communicate effectively, both in business and in personal life.   With the many varied forms of communication these days, the interpersonal relationship is still key. So remember to listen to others to gain better understanding. You're more likely to convey messages clearly and influence others if you really know your audience. 

  3. Understand your own style and the culture of your organisation 
    There are four main communication styles: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive. Understanding the different styles can improve your ability to connect with someone and therefore the quality of your relationship with that person  Your company’s culture also plays an important part in the style of communication that you use. The culture in which people are immersed will influence the way they communicate and similarly, the way people communicate can change the culture.   

To learn more, Cambridge Network’s Learning Collaboration offers an Effective Communication training course led by trainer, psychologist and coach, Sheila McDerment. The course will give you the opportunity to refresh the essential skills you need and will lead you to look at and understand your own communication style.

This one-day virtual course  - split into four 90 minute sessions - next takes place on 29 September..

Find out more here