12 Guidelines to Effective Communication

The number one skill required to succeed in the current job environment is communication. All things being equal communication is what will distinguish you from others. The reason is with the explosion of outsourcing and project teams being in diverse locations the ability to communicate and collaborate are essential skills to have. The key to better collaboration is communication. Here are 12 guidelines to communicate better.
Be Clear - The first step in communication is to make your message short and crisp. Simplify your message. Clarity is an absolute must.
Use Simple Words - Be wary of using bombastic words and use simple words instead which relate with the audience or person. Simplicity connects people.
Be other centered - Make your interactions with people more about them and take the focus off yourself. A key to effective communication is having a genuine interest in other people. Pay attention to where you focus when you communicate. Think about other’s needs. Meet people where they are and deliver more than they expect.
Give Respect - Treat everyone with respect. Everyone knows something we don’t. Treat everyone you meet like a million dollar customer. Give people the best treatment possible and make them feel like a winner.
Expand your vocabulary - Improve your vocabulary by learning new words as this is the best way you can improve your communication as well. The more words you have to play with the better your speech. Words are the tools we use to communicate and you have to have a great repertoire of words in your speaking arsenal.
Avoid lengthy emails - While communicating through email get to the point early and avoid lengthy emails. In other words cut to the chase. Don’t have people scramble for a dictionary. Make your sentences short and sweet.
Have Polite Manners - Maintain eye contact with the person while in conversation. Don’t use the cell phone or watch television while communicating with others. Give the person undivided attention.
Be authentic – Be yourself while engaging in conversation. Authenticity is the first step in establishing credibility with your peers. This helps breaking down the barriers in communication. Another key is to become audience oriented. Ask leading questions to understand your audience. Credibility does indeed precede great communication. Believe in what you say and you will be authentic.
Have a call to action - As you communicate please remember that all communication should result in measurable action. If you don’t have a clear result in mind the audience will not be spell bound. There should be something for the audience to listen to you and they should be better off having listened to you.
Inspire and motivate – The purpose of language is to inspire and motivate people through your communication. Words are the tools with which to empower people to live their highest vision. Use words that are positive and bring out the best in people.
Align your words with deeds - There should be no gap between what you communicate with who you are. The point is your deeds should match your words. Provide a compelling reason for the audience to pay attention to. Once you have the attention deliver your message with enthusiasm and passion.
Review yourself – Honestly self-evaluate your communication results on a regular basis and adjust the sails to make your communication even better in the future.Prepare before giving any speech/meeting/presentation, rehearsal is the key before important meetings and if you are thoroughly prepared the communication will be more effective.
The key to communication is to keep it simple, result oriented and having a call to action. If we follow these 12 guidelines we can become better communicators.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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