Most people think they are good communicators, but statistics show that most of us are not. This means we think communication is happening, when it actually isn’t!
For communication to take place, there must be action and reaction on both sides. This is an interaction! There must be acceptance at the other end, thus a transaction must take place. If I reach out to give you something you must take it before communication takes place.
Action → Interaction → Transaction = Communication
Just because you send an email or leave a voicemail, doesn’t mean you have communicated. The transaction isn’t complete, until it is accepted at the other end.
Someone has said: two monologues do not make a dialogue.
Here are three ideas for improved communication:
1. Assume Nothing
- Don’t assume your communication was received. If something is dropped, you can’t just say, “I left a voicemail, and assumed he got it!” You need to follow through.
- Don’t assume it was received in the way you intended. Did he know you were asking him to do something? Did he agree to do it?
- Don’t assume the receiver did anything with it. He may have thought it was just an “fyi.”
2. Ask Questions
- Did you get my email?
- Do you have any questions?
- Are you planning to follow up or should I?
- When are you planning to finish the task?
- Do I have all the parts and pieces, or the complete information I need?
- Do I need to involve anyone else in the process of completing this task?
- Who needs to be included in this communication process?
3. Always Follow Up
- Make a note to ask follow up questions in a few days.
- Does corrective action need to be taken so this is cared for in the future? Make necessary calendar notations.
Remember, communication is giving and receiving!