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THE PRINCIPLES OF GOODCOMMUNICATIONUnit 1 Communication and Employability Skills
Principles of effective communicationInterpersonal communication
Verbal communicationThere are a variety of ways of communicating between people it usually done verbally and may also be done using lip reading and signings. When communicating with others verbally there are some important principles to be aware of.
Principles It is important to be able to listen to others to make sure they have an understanding of the message you are communicating. Communicating is a two way process. Be positive, smile and make eye contact with the person/people you are communicating with.
Principles continued Find a balance in communicating, be assertive enough to get your point across clearly but allowing others to do the same. To maintain the listeners’ interest it is important to speak with enthusiasm where necessary. Ask questions to show you are interested and to make sure you get the message/point clearly.
Principles continued If another person has an opposing view to you find out why this is the case. If they explain in more detail it may clarify their point of view and give you a better insight into what they are thinking. Find a balance in communicating, be assertive enough to get your point across clearly but allowing others to do the same.
Principles continued Take notice of the other person/people’s body language to make sure they are fully involved in the communication. Always be aware of your body language when communicating any distracting behaviour such as fidgeting or looking around the room will give the impression that you are not interested or relaxed in the conversation.
Barriers to effective communicationThere are a variety of barriers which prevent effective interpersonal communication that should be avoided.If a person is to communicate well it is important to be aware of and avoid these barriers.
Barriers continued Language difference can cause a problem as it may be difficult to understand an unusual accent or dialect. This could lead to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the message. To overcome this establish at an early stage that there is a difference in dialects being used and back up all of the communications with written information. Take time to ensure everyone has understood what has been discussed.
Barriers continued Over use of jargon can complicate an issue and cause confusion. It is important not to use unfamiliar terms which the listener won’t understand. To overcome this be aware of the level of knowledge the audience has and ensure what is being said is explained using more standard language. Take time to ensure that the information being conveyed has been understood and if necessary explain in a clearer way.
Barriers continued Lack of relevance to other people involved will cause them to lose interest and become distracted. It is important to keep the focus the subject relevant only to those who are involved in a particular exchange. To overcome this make sure the people involved in the communication are only those who are directly involved. Arrange a separate communication with others.
Barriers continued If people who communicate hold a vastly different viewpoint to each other it could cause disagreements and a lack of ability to make progress with an issue being discussed. To overcome this ensure that everyone involved is working towards the same clear goal. Be prepared to listen to different points of view and negotiate an acceptable outcome.
Barriers continued There are cultural differences that may affect successful communication. Some cultures adopt a more direct approach in a conversation which could be deemed rude by others. There is also the concept of personal space which varies in some cultures and could affect the progress of a communication. To overcome this take time to find out the culture of the people involved in the communication and adapt your own approach if necessary to ensure there is no lack of understanding.
Barriers continued A lot of noise can interfere with communication, parts or all of a conversation or message can be missed or misunderstood due to interference from other noises. To overcome this set up a meeting in a location more suitable for a conversation to be carried out. If it is technical noise ensure that you are able to convey the information in another form other than spoken. For example use reports, images and graphs as required.
Barriers continued Emotional barriers such as prejudice against an idea or viewpoint, or unrealistic expectations of a situation will cause ineffective communication as these problems will influence or prevent a successful outcome of a discussion. To overcome this establish that everyone is working towards the same goal despite there being different opinions on it. Ensure that the limits of what is to be achieved is established.
Cultural differencesCustoms, mannerisms and gestures vary indifferent cultures and can affect our ability tocommunicate
Language barriersIt is important to be aware of the culture of the audience and the ways in which they traditionally communicate.For example: The type of language used by someone from the USA in a business meeting would normally be loud and fairly aggressive. This could easily offend a person from the Japanese culture where it is more acceptable to speak softly in a business meeting.
Gender differencesIn some countries it is more usual for the men to make important business decisions. This would influence the way a meeting would be carried out where you would expect the men to be more influential on the outcome.In other countries such as Sweden it is more usual for women to make important planning and purchasing decisions.
Linking up through technologyWhen planning video or tele conference meetings it is vital to be aware of the culture of the others involved.Time zone differences make it less convenient at some times than others. Also the fact that some countries have long lunch breaks mid day then work later in the evening than others as well as having certain time when prayers will be carried out.
Political disputesIt is important to be aware of any political disputes which may be ongoing between people who are communicating. This refers to both internal and external issues.Any discussions touching on the subject in dispute would cause difficulty in communication and should be avoided at all cost.
Principles of effectivecommunicationWritten communication
Written communicationAn important way of communicating within a business is the written word. The quality of the written documents produced in a business will reflect on the quality and professionalism of the organisation. A standard formal style should be used throughout. Depending on the type of communication there are various principles to be aware of.
Formal writingFormal writing is used when you want to communicate in a business like situation. The information should be presented in a clear and well structured way. The structure will mostly be an outline of the topic, some further detail about the topic and ending with some summing up.Avoiding informal language ensures there is no misunderstanding of the message being conveyed.
Rules for formal writing Do not use ‘I’ or ‘you Don’t say ‘I believe’ or ‘I feel’ Avoid shortening words like it is to it’s Never use slang words or phrases Spell an abbreviation out the first time you use it Don’t include rhetorical questions
Informal writingInformal writing is used in a variety of settings where a more natural tone is required. For example when you are trying to sell something or entertain people. It is also more likely to be found on a website where information is needed quickly. Informal language resembles the spoken language which is more concise and less ‘stuffy’ and ‘long winded’. It gives information in a more speedy way using a conversational tone. It will however use correct spelling and grammar.
Rules for informal writing To make content more personal refer to I and you in the text Keep things succinct and not too wordy Make use of contractions such as I’ll in place of I will Avoid complex language or specialist terminology
Business letter Always use formal language. Be set out in an established format. Have correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Be concise and to the point. Have a formal beginning and end.
Email May be more informal. Should use the standard house style of the business. Should be very concise and not be too long or it will not be read. Always have a subject so that its not ignored as spam.
Business report Have an introductory overview. Be well laid out so the amount of information can be presented in a form that is easy to follow. Use professional language. May use technical language if required. Have a conclusion to clarify the outcome of the activity that has been carried out.
Barriers to effective communicationThere are a variety of barriers which prevent effective use of communication that should be avoided.If a business is to communicate well it is important to be aware of and avoid these barriers.Depending on the type of communication used the barriers may vary.
Barriers continued Poor use of punctuation, grammar and spelling which will give a bad impression of a business. To avoid this all documents should be checked with a spelling and grammar checker initially. After this they should be proof read. This is because spelling and grammar checkers are not fool proof.
Barriers continued Using formal or informal language in the wrong situation. A business letter is required to be formal whereas a web page will need a less formal style to keep people interested. To avoid this any member of staff should be fully trained to be aware of what is required in each different situation they will be dealing with when producing the written communication.
Barriers continued Using far too many words, using clichés, using two words that have the same meaning. This style of writing causes confusion and misinterpretation of information. To avoid this information should be written in a clear way using short sentences. Be concise and straight to the point to express ideas clearly.