What is Effective Communication?
Communication is what makes us human:
- The exchange of information allows us to coordinate and face adversities, whatever they may be.
However, despite we continually strive to improve our analytical skills, we put aside our Communication skills.
When we want to forecast some results, maximize our benefits or reduce our costs, we use diverse mathematical approaches.
- Analyzing all the variables involved, how they are related, establishing correlations…
But, when we have to communicate some important information, we don’t even think about how to do it.
We want to use the same analytical rigor with our Communication problems, as they cause a large part of our daily and professional problems.
We understand Effective Communication as that which transmits information as accurately and concisely as possible.
First of all, we have to understand what is behind every Communication process:
Principles of Effective Communication
The 3 Dimensions of any Communication process – Proposed by Consuunt.
If you think about it carefully, you can analyze all Communication processes according to these 3 Dimensions:
Let’s see them in detail:
When you communicate something, there is always a purpose:
- To socialize.
- To obtain information.
- To get something.
Even animals have a purpose when they communicate with each other, generally:
When analyzing a Communication process, you must first define the main purpose that drives it.
In every Communication process, there is a always a relationship between the different parties involved.
- Even if both parties don’t know each other.
These relationships can be analyzed from multiple perspectives.
We propose you to use these 4 Perspectives:
- Boss – Subordinate.
- Dominant person – Submissive person.
- Optimistic personality – Pessimistic personality.
Position of interest:
- The one who needs something – The one that can offer something.
- Short-term need – Long-term need.
- Brother – Father.
- People that barely know each other.
- People that don’t know each other.
When analyzing a Communication process, you must define what relationship there is between all the parties involved.
Of course, in every Communication process there is content:
- The information that is being exchanged.
This Content varies, depending on the Purpose and Relationship between all parties involved.
- It can be adequate, not adequate, the best possible or the worst possible… But it is some kind of information.
This information comprehends:
- The words exchanged.
- The intonation of the words.
- The place where this information exchange is taking place.
- The mood.
- The communication channel used.
The Content involves everything surrounding the information exchanged.
- Because everything is part of that information.
For example: Saying “go to hell” to your friend in a funny situation is not the same as saying it it to someone else after having a car accident… it is not the same.
When analyzing a Communication process you should always identify the Content; the Information involved, and study it carefully.
- And remember: Sometimes, Context is more important than words.
We know all this seems a bit theoretical and even obvious.
However, don’t forget that all Mathematical principles are derived from “a = a”.
Why is Effective Communication Important?
Do you remember Obama’s famous “Yes we can” speech in New Hampshire?
Or Trump’s “America First“?
Or Neil Armstrong’s “One giant leap for mankind“?
Or even Julius Caesar’s legendary “Veni, Vidi, Vici“?
All those famous speeches or sentences, were not improvised.
- Somebody thought about them carefully and that is why we all remember them.
How many times do you think Steve Jobs prepared his presentations?
- Do you think he improvised?
Now you know the 3 Dimensions of any Communication process, we want to give you 4 Examples of Good Communication Practices:
Effective Communication Examples
As you know, we have been working in Venture Capital for years;
- Buying, restructuring and selling bankrupt companies (mainly, industrial companies).
Restructuring a company is something difficult, but you learn to communicate with other people whether you like it or not.
- You have to give bad news every day.
After years of experience, we have identified these 4 good Practices:
1. Be sure about what you want to communicate
One of the most common mistakes that we all make when we communicate with other people (an employee, a friend…) specially when we want to say something “not pleasant” is not taking some time to think about what we want to Communicate.
When we are nervous about saying something we tend to communicate poorly.
So, first of all, think calmly about what you want to communicate and analyze each concept you want to transmit.
- Your purpose.
- Your relation with the other person.
- What would be the best way (the Content).
2. Put things in Context
We all understand things better if we are aware of the context.
When you Communicate something, whatever it is, be sure your audience understand the context properly.
- This context must include the reasons why you have decided to share the information.
3. Be Direct
Once you know exactly what you want to say…
… Once your audience has been put in context…
Then it is time for you to be direct.
- Don’t beat around the bush and get to the point.
4. Make sure the message is understood
Once you have finished sharing what you had to say, make sure everybody has understood the message correctly.
To do so, you can:
- Give some examples.
- Make analogies.
- Ask your audience.
- Offer to answer questions.
Communication problems cause much of our daily and professional problems.
There are 3 Dimensions in all Communication processes:
- Why is the information being shared.
- Which is the relationship between the different parties involved in the Communication process.
- What is being said.
- What is the context.
4 Tips for Communicating effectively based on our professional experience:
- Be sure about what you want to communicate.
- Put things in context.
- Be direct.
- Make sure the message is understood.