Communication: Communication – 5 Behaviors of Communication

“Communicates ideas clearly, concisely, directly, and willingly” has 5 behaviors:

  • expresses thoughts clearly in writing;
  • speaks articulately and effectively;
  • explains an issue without overdoing It;
  • communicates straightforwardly, especially in dealing with sensitive;
  • distributes current job-related information to others

“Communicates ideas…” can be thought of as having three parts: Understanding, Ability and Willingness. First, the supervisor understands what to communicate and how to communicate. Second, the supervisor has the ability to communicate clearly and articulately in writing and in speech without overdoing it. In addition the supervisor has the ability to communicate straightforwardly in dealing with sensitive topics. Third, the supervisor has the willingness to communicate and to distribute current job related information.

Some supervisors are gifted at expressing thoughts clearly in writing, and others are challenged in this area. This should not be a source of embarrassment, but rather it should be perceived as an opportunity to grow. The first step of growth in writing is to read examples of clear writing and to attempt to imitate that style of writing. If writing clearly is a troublesome area you will benefit from taking a course in writing at your local community college. Some people are capable of writing clearly, but because they rush through their writing, they may fail to express themselves clearly.

Speaking articulately is a completely different skill. This means that someone may be very competent at written communication, but not effective in spoken communication, or vice versa, very competent when speaking, but not effective in writing. The first step in growth in speaking is an awareness of good speech. You may be able to find a role model at work, take a course at a community college, an individual tutor, or listen to tapes to get started. However, your speaking skills will not begin to improve until you begin to practice frequently your newly developing skills.

Many individuals seem to know just how much to explain an issue without overdoing it.

Others tend to over talk, go on and on, long after they have made their point sufficiently. What is the difference between these 2 styles of explaining? Most likely the person who explains appropriately has done 2 things well:

  • they decided before they spoke just what they were going to say, and had confidence in themselves.
  • they were engaged with their audience and could read body language indicating the message was understood

Most likely the person who over explained did not do these 2 things well, and they may have had some anxiety that made them more talkative.

Empathy for your staff will help to distribute the job-related information they need in order to feel properly informed. Holding on to needed information can breed distrust.

For additional growth in writing and speaking skills:

  • Ask your staff for feedback on your written and spoken communication & information sharing;
  • Read, Strunk and White, Elements of Style;
  • Take a Community College Course on Speaking skills;
  • Access an online podcast on spoken communication.
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