Are you being understood?

Talking with various levels of management in my workplace over recent months, several team members have consistently proposed alternatives to current corporate communication processes. In a period of significant change colleagues have regularly expressed their frustration not so much at the change itself but the lack of clear, consistent communication.

If there is power in words, then a lack of words may actually be disempowering.

Taking this into my own world, I should not be surprised when a change of plan is not met with the unbridled enthusiasm I’d expected! It could well be that the change has not
been effectively communicated.

Communication requires a sender, a message and an intended recipient. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender. The key word here is understood.

How often do we simply share news, pass a message on without confirming whether it has been received how it was intended? Just because we know the intent of the message we’re delivering, does not mean it will be understood.

Rethink not just what you are saying, but how you are saying it.

Are you firstly clear on the message? If you are confused, so will the recipient. Is the language you use clear and simple, appropriate for the intended audience? Are you using ambiguous words and phrases or that perhaps have a double meaning? Does your body language (gestures, facial expression, eye contact) support the message? Have you asked the recipient what they actually heard?

There certainly is power in words, but only if those words are understood.

Let hope rise.

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What do you think?