The effectiveness of our communication with others determines our reputation, the way we project ourselves in front of others and the interpretation of our responses with respect to our professionalism, credibility, confidence and honesty. Unfortunately, communicating with skill and professionalism requires practice, years of experience and mastery of a basic set of communication guidelines. Here are 3 basic guidelines that will help communicators build influence, establish reputation, achieve goals and influence the world.
Communication is an intricate system of steps.
Even the simplest messages that we communicate must go through several phases. These steps include (1) establishing a formal purpose, (2) encoding the purpose into a message, (3) deciding on a suitable medium, (4) decoding the message by intended recipients, and (5) responding with appropriate feedback. Even when we follow this process, barriers to communication can arise that prevent us from delivering our messages effectively enough to accomplish our objectives. For a message to be communicated effectively, it must avoid physiological, psychological, semantic, and linguistic barriers. The odds of communicating successfully are further eroded by the fact that communicating seldom involves one exchange but, instead, a continuous flow of interactions that frequently become more complicated and higher paced with the addition of more recipients.
Communication is influenced by situational and circumstantial factors.
Thousands of situational and circumstantial factors can influence our ability to receive messages and interpret them correctly. Culture, language, education, past experiences, social status, familiarity with other participants, physical and mental conditions, gender and age are common factors that impact communication. Any one of them can make a profound impact. In our global business world, linguistic differences can limit understanding so much as to require the use of certified translators and interpreters. Equally important, our relationships with other members in the communication exchange can either limit or enhance the exchange.
Transmission is just one component in the communication process.
The goal of communication isn’t simply to send data. We should have a defined purpose that includes the person or persons we want to send our message to, when we want to send it, how the message will be sent, what specifically we need to say and whether the response we want to receive is realistic. As a communicator, we need a defined goal. Do we want to establish relations, persuade someone to take a specific action, instruct someone to do something, brainstorm new ideas or something else?.
Communication is the process we use to create meaning, solicit a response, influence others and develop our own reputations. By following the guidelines in this article, you will improve your communication skills, build influence, establish reputation, achieve goals and influence the world.