Thinking back over the week, I am reminded of the questions that we need keep in mind in order to ensure that we communicate well:
- Did you say what you mean? Eliminating jargon helps as well as stating your assumptions.
- Did you hear what others said as well as what they meant to say? Repeating back what you heard as well as asking questions can help. I find that documenting conversations with a follow-up email can provide a good "paper" trail and also surface discrepancies.
- Were you communicating with the correct people? If you need have decisions made, are you communicating with the person who has the authority to make the decisions? Are you communicating with people who have the most accurate information?
- Did you keep the communications on-track and focused? Sometimes you need to go off-track, but a meeting of all off-track conversations (often called sidebars) is not an effective meeting.
- Did you stay cool and calm? Getting angry often sidetracks communications, so staying calm can be important. That doesn't mean that you should never get angry, but you shouldn't make a habit of it.
Technorati tag: Communications