1) Be clear in your own mind first what the message is that you want to send. If there is any confusion at the source, delivery is likely to be muddled.
2) Choose delivery method with care. A complex message should be delivered in writing so that the receiver can read and re-read to facilitate understanding. Emotional messages are best delivered in person so that the sender can respond to reaction.
3) Reconcile verbal and physical messages. Does your body language match your message? Be conscious of both to avoid confusion.
4) Resist the use of jargon. Unless you are certain that the receiver is familiar with the technical language, stick to more generic, understandable words.
5) Anticipate reaction. Before delivering your message, think about how it will be received. What their expectations are could impact on how well they understand your message.
6) Monitor your mood. The way you feel will dictate how well you communicate. If you are in a miserable mood, hold off on sending the message until the cloud clears. If it’s urgent, ask an unbiased third party to review the message and provide constructive feedback before sending to the intended recipient.
Thousands of messages are sent every day and whether they are verbal, non-verbal or written, you should bear in mind the following stats:
• The actual words used convey 7% of the meaning
• The tone of the words convey 38% of the meaning
• The body language conveys 55% of the meaning
So think it through before you send an email when a face-to-face discussion is needed.
What obstacles do you experience with communication?
Marnie Hughes is an SEO copywriter, author and online marketer. She works with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing and communications and expand their customer base.
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