Free Essay About Effective Communication
Here at the Bear House Brew Pub, almost nothing can be accomplished in a business without communication. But, recently there has been a breakdown of communication. People are not communication when they should and others are not sure of what type of communication to use. Hopefully, this report will get us all on the same page when it comes to organizational communication.
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the biggest factors contributing to the long-term success of small businesses. When everyone is in communication, managers know what is going on with operations and employees know what is expected of them. According to Inman (1978), effective managers “understand that 80 to 90 percent of their time is spent on some form of communication.” Those numbers are probably even higher in modern times, with email, cellphones and the ability to constantly communicate.
Ensuring Effective Communication
There are many barriers to successful communication. First of, the communicators have to understand the needs of the person or people that they’re communicating with. While the communicator needs to express himself or herself the listeners won’t be responsive if they think that the communicator isn’t considering their needs. Managers and other people who are communicating need to make sure that the listener is interested and understanding about what is being communicated (Inman, 1978).
Soliciting feedback is one way to ensure that the communication is effective. Communicators should ask if their listeners understand and they should ask if they have any questions. Feedback can verbal, written, or electronic. Successful communication also involves knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, and knowing the strengths and motivations of the people receiving the communication. That way, they can relate to the employee and focus on reasonable problem solving and a call to action (Inman, 1978).
What Communication Should You Use?
You should use in-person communication for quick questions and for easy to remember updates. Remember to use effective communication skills to make sure that the person is listening to you and understanding. Use emails when you need to communicate complex ideas to several people at once throughout the company. Also, use emails to contact outside contractors, suppliers, potential employees, and anyone else outside the company. Use letters to offer special information, and to send thank you notes, to people both inside and outside of the company. They may also be used to contact people outside of the company when other methods of communication have failed. Memos are quick reminders and they should only be used to contact people within the company. Finally, reports, such as this one, should be used to discuss extensive information and they may also be handed out as part of a meeting.
Here are a few tips on how to effectively communicate using various methods:
Besides face-to-face communication, email is one of the most prevalent forms of communication here at the Bear House Brew Pub. Even memos, which are different from emails, may be delivered as an email. Here are some tips to make sure that your emails are effective.
First, write a concise and relevant subject line. Communicate the topic of the email so that person knows what to expect (Kawasaki, 2012). Make sure that your subject line is long enough to convey the message, but not so long that is confusing or could be mistaken for spam.
Only send your email to the people who need to see it because the more people you sent it to, the less likely someone is to respond, partly because they think that others will take responsibility (Kawasaki, 2012). Make sure you don’t write in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS; this goes for all types of electronic messaging. All capitals mean that the writer is yelling, so that can be seen as aggressive.
Make sure to keep your email messages short; don’t include unnecessary information (Kawasaki, G. 2012). If you’re using the email to comment on multiple subjects, try to limit it to two different subjects. Anymore than two can be confusing and make it hard for people to follow up with the email.
Since letters are so special in this age of electronic communication, each letter should be uniquely designed based on the message that you’re sending (Feiertag, 1995). If it is not a formal letter, personalize the letter. Instead of just writing “Dear Ms. Smith,” try starting out with something like “It was so great to meet with you Ms. Smith,”. Make sure that the first paragraph contains the most relevant information. If this letter is a call to action, use the last paragraph to tell the person what you need or to ask them to do something for you. Remember, even though a letter is a more formal way to communicate, you don’t have to use extra formal language. It makes the letters hard to understand and the reader might just skip it (Feiertag, 1995).
Memos are the briefest forms of business communication, so they need to be clear, concise and focused on one subject (Marshall, 1999). Plan your message out ahead of time to make sure that you’re not including any extra information. If you do have to include a lot of information, considering using a list with bullet points that the reader can easily scan. Use a conversational tone; remember memos are for your coworkers. Make sure that your key points are emphasized, use either the bullet pointed list I mentioned before, or bold the important text (Marshall, 1999).
Before writing a report consider what happened that made you decide to write the report and the results you would to see from the report. For example, I created this report because we were having communication problems at the Bear House Brew Pub and the results I’d like to see is improved communication on all fronts.
Start with the issue and give a background of the problem or what lead up to the creation of the report. Research facts to help support any claims that you make in the report. Research can also be used to present ways to solve the problem. If the report is part of a meeting, create meeting material based on the report.
Meetings and Presentations
Other types of communication include meetings, interviews, and presentations. Regular meetings help to keep channels of communication open. Reports and presentations are often a part of meetings. You should use the same methods for effective communication that you use for other types of communications.
In conclusion, always make sure to double check for typos and spelling and grammar errors before sending your communication. If possible, have another person read over your work to check for comprehension and errors (Marshall, 1999). Following the rules in this report should ensure that your communication is effective and efficient.
Feiertag, H. (1995). Salespeople should learn the art of good letter writing. Hotel & Motel Management, 210(11), 15.
González, F. (2008). Effective Report Writing. Internal Auditor, 65(3), 25-27.
Kawasaki, G. (2012). EFFECTIVE EMAIL. Smart Business Cleveland, 23(12), 11
Inman, T. H. (1978). COMMUNICATION AND THE SMALL BUSINESS MANAGER. Journal Of Small Business Management, 16(3), 50-52.
Marshall, J. (1999). How to Write a Perfectly Good Memo. Harvard Management Communication Letter, 2(7), 4.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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