Communication: Let's Talk About It.


By Katie Torres

Have you ever played the telephone game?

It never ceases to amaze me how the message can start so clearly with the first person, and end up so completely misinterpreted by the last.

I loved this game as a kid. But as an adult, in real life, it would be pretty frustrating if this is how we communicated with one another.

And yet, we sometimes do.

Has your company ever made a decision and passed down the information through managers, rather than taking the time to meet together or even pass out the same memo to everyone?

Hopefully not, but it has happened. This creates all kinds of confusion and misunderstanding when the messenger doesn't get the message exactly right.

Great communication is key to ensuring the message stays in tact, and is understood by everyone.

But a mixed-up-message is not the only thing we need to be concerned about when it comes to communicating properly.

So, here are a few ways in which we can make sure our communication stays strong within our companies.

1. Make sure the message is complete in all details to avoid misunderstanding.

The message you communicate must be complete. Leaving out important details means more follow up questions have to be asked, and there is more room for error if the message is communicating a task that needs to be completed.

If the message is a written one, read what you have written before sending. Make sure all details are included. If it is a verbal message, think about what you need to communicate before speaking.

2. Communicating well means crafting your message with care.

If you are writing a message to someone but use terrible grammar, the message can be easily misunderstood, and the sender could even be viewed as careless.

The person on the receiving end of your message should be able to clearly understand what you are saying. Remember: "Let's eat, Grandpa!" is not the same as, "let's eat Grandpa!"

3. Be considerate of your audience.

The way you speak to a coworker is different than the way you speak to a customer.

For instance, a mechanic might go into greater detail when communicating with another mechanic, but when speaking to a customer, the message would be simplified to make it understandable. 

In this case, lesser detail may be better. A customer coming in with a broken spark plug does not need to know how the spark plug works - they just need it fixed.

If you speak to all audiences the same way, you can't expect everyone to understand exactly what you're saying.

Taking the time to communicate well will save you from misunderstandings and mistakes.

It is the backbone of a business that runs smoothly, so it truly pays to do it well.