Effective communication is the activity of exchanging information, ideas, beliefs, feelings and attitudes between two or more people (groups) whose results are in accordance with what is expected. When communication does go according to what is planned and we get the results that are in accordance with what we want, this is a sign that the communication we have established has been going effectively.
Another understanding of effective communication is communication that is able to produce an attitude change in people involved in communication. In this typing, communication not only gives the desired results by all parties, but the communication that is established can change the attitude of the parties involved in the communication.
Does a Leader Need to Create Effective Communication?
Surely Career Advice colleagues knew Steve Jobs before, right? Well for Steve Jobs, leaders who successfully carry out their duties are those who can communicate meaningfully with others, especially to its members. For example, Jeff Bezos has managed to articulate the work ethic expected by Amazon to its employees, so that Amazon can be as successful as it is today. This indicates that a leader really needs to create effective communication in order to provide clarity to others, especially about the direction and goals of the business and what things need to be done together.
According to the entrepreneur’s website, there are 13 ways that can help leaders to achieve effective communication, and we will explain all of these ways in this article. Come on, just listen to the following explanation.
1. Learn to Master Nonverbal Communication.
It turns out, nonverbal communication has a very powerful impact, even more than a word spoken on verbal communication. This is supported by the results of a study which says that nonverbal communication contributes 55% of how the audience or interlocutor views the presenter (main speaker).
So, the first way a leader needs to be mastered is to learn to master nonverbal communication , so that the people who communicate with us also feel comfortable. In addition, communicating clearly and confidently can only be obtained when we use proper body language. For example, avoiding bent posture, lowering your eyes, not having consistent eye contact, yawning when listening, and so on. Good nonverbal communication will lead us to effective communication .
2. Give More Explanation when Delivering New Ideas.
Conveying new ideas is not as easy as we imagine! As a leader, we must know how each person has a different ability to think, so we cannot hit evenly, everyone will immediately understand what we said in the initial explanation.
This is supported by a study conducted by graduate students at Stanford University. In this study there is a group of people who will tap the melody or rhythm of 120 famous songs. In this case, participants or other respondents must be able to guess what song is being tapped. They are sure that 50% of the song that is guessed is true.
Apparently, only 2.5% are correct. From this study we can see that clear communication is needed to achieve effective communication. And to achieve clear communication, we need to provide more explanation when conveying ideas, especially new ideas.
3. Know Your Audience or Listeners Better.
So that we can become leaders or speakers who communicate effectively, it would be nice if we try to get to know the other person, listener or audience better and deeper. This is a fairly easy practice, especially if there are quite a small audience of around 2-10 people in the forum. We can start by inviting them to introduce themselves or ask other simple questions. For example, “Ratna, where did you spend your weekend last week? Is there anyone here who watched the movie “Endgame” last week? If so, what do you think? ” Have a light conversation that ties us with the audience before we move on to the main topic of conversation.
4. Always Involve the Listeners in the Discussion.
Even though a leader or resource person has excellent communication skills and a very interesting conversation theme, it is always important to remember that the focus of the listener has limitations. Occasionally they may lose focus on what is being discussed in the forum. So, to maintain their focus and achieve effective communication, we need to involve them in the discussion.
For example, a manager in a work meeting, asking for ideas and opinions held by employees on the sidelines of his explanation of a presentation topic. This will turn the work meeting into an interactive discussion forum. Occasionally we can also ask other questions or give jokes!
5. Convey Important Points at the Beginning and End of the Presentation.
Whenever explaining something, whether in a presentation or other light discussion, make it a habit to always explain the important points of the conversation at the beginning and end of the explanation. This is to help the listener become clearer with any important points that we convey, so that effective communication will be formed.
For example: “Alright guys, in this presentation I will explain about (i) the name of our company’s new product and (ii) the latest price of our new product”. Then, reiterate these two important points at the end of the presentation such as, “Well, that’s an explanation of (i) the name of our company’s new product and (ii) the latest price of our new product, until here are there any questions?”.
6. Avoid visual aid that is too intense.
In fact, Steve jobs forbade the use of PowerPoint as a visual aid to explain important things about Apple, this is not just about Apple secrets that must be secured, but because excessive use of PowerPoint can hamper communication .
To achieve effective communication, we need to minimize the use of visual aids and start communicating with words like, telling interesting stories with appropriate body language
7. Be a Good Listener.
To achieve effective communication, we need to get used to listening more than talking more. Unfortunately, we often listen to something and immediately rush to answer it. In fact, what we answer does not match the message conveyed by others. Such conditions often lead to misunderstandings and ineffective communication. So, from now on we will be good listeners to achieve effective communication.
8. Apply the PIP Approach (Purpose, Importance, Preview).
The Purpose, Importance, Preview (PIP) approach or objectives, interests, preview, this is an approach that is highly recommended by experts and this is also the approach used at McKinsey. This approach aims to introduce the presentation by stating what the purpose of the presentation is, conveying why the presentation to be shared is very important, and finally by reviewing the implications and possible results that will be obtained.
From these three points namely purpose, importance and preview, we can see that the PIP approach will provide clarity to the audience through goals, interests and preview so that effective communication can be created.
9. Recording Important Presentations as Future Documentation.
Instead of wasting time and energy repeating the same thing over and over, it’s good to record our presentations and be able to share them easily. This can also be a reliable way to achieve effective communication. In addition, the recording of our presentation can also be used as important documentation in the future.
10. Having the Skill in Managing Time.
Often, leaders forget the time limit they have to speak in front of employees. Sometimes, when they are busy having discussions with employees or other audiences, they spend more time than determined. Conditions like this will not infrequently lead to less effective communication.
So that we can achieve effective communication, make it a habit to hone our skills in managing time when talking. We need to understand when we have to move to a new topic, when we have to repeat the same important points, when we can provide humor and when we have to be serious in explaining important points.
11. Focus on Getting Effective Communication.
Maybe we really need to insert humor in between our discussions with others. The goal is that the conversation does not go too seriously, so that our audience or listeners can relax and laugh together with us. However, in the professional world, effective communication is not dominated by humor and excessive laughter. Do not let our focus deviated and forgotten to convey important points in creating effective communication.
12. Not Fixated with Text.
Too fixated on the sentences contained in the text will only make us a rigid and boring communicator. In fact, subordinates or employees will prefer and feel more inspired when they hear explanations from their leaders who do not use texts, books or are fixated with other reading sources.
13. Asking for Honest Feedback.
Feedback not only needs to be given when evaluating performance. But to achieve effective communication, we also need to ask for feedback from other people. In this case, the leader can ask for feedback or feedback from colleagues such as CEOs, managers, peers, and even ask for it from team members.