Communication can be improved by using these suggestions that have been gathered
from many sources:
Say it in writing
Written communications will avoid some of the chances of distortion. A one-time verbal communication has a great danger of distortion. Written communication may take the form of memos, letters, reports, policy and procedure manuals, and other things. When making group presentations, one should use visual aids. When an oral discussion takes place, a written confirmation of the oral discussion should follow. This can be especially helpful following a meeting or conference where a decision was made.
Use language that is clear and exact
The reader should easily understand the language used. Written communications should be interesting to assure they will be read. The communications should avoid ambiguity and jargon that might be misunderstood. Common words should always be used unless more exact words are needed for definition. If you use words that everybody knows, then everybody can understand what you are saying. If you are loading trucks, say that you are loading trucks, rather than saying, “utilizing available non-rail ground mode transportation resources.”
Communicate as much information as it is possible
Lack of communication breeds rumors and rumors destroy morale. Generally, one should err in favor of saying too much rather than too little.
Always tell the truth in communications
It is all right to say, “I don’t have the freedom to disclose that information,” but never say “I don’t know,” if in fact you do know. Dishonesty will destroy integrity and confidence. Be very careful with ministerial estimates. Always “speak the truth, in love.”
Cultivate feedback from the followers
Feedback can give a mental and emotional response. Feedback can be verbal or nonverbal. Teachers use tests as feedback to see if the learners have gotten the right message from the communication.
Be friendly, polite, and considerate when communicating
Try to get to know the group you need to communicate with as well as possible
Try to establish rapport with them by spending time with them, knowing and understanding their problems and needs, and showing a genuine love and interest in them. When we understand them, we can see an idea from their point of view. Some say you cannot really know a person until “you walk for a day in his moccasins.”
The effective communicator will learn to ask questions and to listen. Try using different types of questions to get information, and learn about attitudes:
Use leading questions and not loaded questions. Loaded questions put a person on the defensive.
Ask cool questions and not heated ones. A heated question reflects the feelings of the questioner, and incites the feelings of the respondent.
Ask open questions and not closed ones. Open questions invite the person to express freely what he feels.
Consider the probable barriers that need to be overcome
Emotional concepts can be big barriers. Fear of change is a barrier. Status differentials are barriers, and the wider the gap in the status of two people, the more difficult it becomes for them to communicate.
Consider the importance that may be placed on the sender
It makes a difference when the pastor asks something rather than a lay church member. It makes a difference when a letter is sent third class, first class, or special delivery. This difference is based on the sender. Even if the message is the same, the reception is very different. A personal telephone reminder of a meeting from the pastor is much more effective than a postcard reminder from a secretary.
Recognize that there are formal and informal channels for communication, and that sometimes the informal one may communicate a message faster
Ladies on the telephone may be an example of an informal channel. Formal channels are necessary for the communication to be viewed as authoritative.
An important message should use several mediums
Advertising has learned to do this effectively.