Communication misunderstandings happen all the time in business communications, and the consequences can range from annoying to terrible. Here are some simple rules to follow that can save you a world of trouble when communicating with colleagues and partners.
Active listening is one of the best ways to effectively communicate with others. In fact, when we actually listen, misunderstanding is less likely to occur. Active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust. Face the speaker, maintain eye contact, keep an open mind, engage yourself.
Avoid making assumptions based on prejudiced opinions. Ask questions to confirm, whether you are the one sending or receiving the message. Never assume that you know what has been conveyed. If someone conveys a message that is unclear, ask for more clarification
Be Aware of Your Verbal and Non-Verbal Language
Be certain to clearly convey the same verbal and non-verbal cues. Do not give mixed communication signals. Remember, body language, facial expressions, and tone of speech play a significant part in how messages will be interpreted. For example, if you say something one way, and your facial expression says something else, it is very possible that a miscommunication may occur. Build, rapport the relationship
Build rapport when you develop mutual trust, friendship, and empathy with someone. Building rapport can be incredibly beneficial to your career – it opens doors and helps establish good relationships with clients, colleagues, and team members.
Manage the conflict situation
Learn to resolve problems and conflicts as they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator and negotiator. Use your listening skills to hear and understand both sides of any argument – encourage and facilitate people to talk to each other. Try not to be judgemental but instead ease the way for conflict resolution
Provide constructive feedback
•Constructive feedback refers to providing a person with useful information about their approach, skills and/or actions in order to encourage professional and personal development. It includes both what a person is doing well and what they need to improve. you can avoid misunderstandings and check to make sure that your communication is clear. Constructive feedback motivates many who use it to change their behavior, study new things, or adopt new attitudes. The summary is also an opportunity to show your support for the other person and an effective way to conclude even a negative feedback situation on a positive note.
If communicating with a person from another culture, become familiar with the needs, cultural expectations and language level of the person. have self-awareness of their own cultural practice, including prejudice, stereotyping and bias understand various cultural factors contributing to cultural differences be sensitive and appreciate a migrant’s migration experience have a good knowledge of, and skills in, communication
be able to work with interpreters
be willing to accept and appreciate other cultures.
Channels vary in their information richness. Information-rich channels convey more nonverbal information. As you may be able to guess from our earlier discussion of verbal and written communications, verbal communications are richer than written ones. Research shows that effective managers tend to use more information-rich communication channels than less effective managers. The figure below illustrates the information richness of different information channels. Like face-to-face and telephone conversation, videoconferencing has high information richness because Receivers and Senders can see or hear beyond just the words—they can see the Sender’s body language or hear the tone of their voice.
Handheld devices, blogs, and written letters and memos offer medium-rich channels because they convey words and pictures/photos. Formal written documents, such as legal documents, and spreadsheets, such as the division’s budget, convey the least richness because the format is often rigid and standardized. As a result, nuance is lost. In business, the decision to communicate verbally or in written form can be powerful.
In addition, a smart manager is aware of the nonverbal messages conveyed by either type of communication—as noted earlier, only 7% of a verbal communication comes from the words themselves. When determining whether to communicate verbally or in writing, ask yourself:Do I want to convey facts or feelings? Verbal communications are a better way to convey feelings. Written communications do a better job of conveying facts.
A breakdown in the communication channel leads to an inefficient flow of information. Employees are unaware of what the company expects of them. They are uninformed of what is going on in the company.
This will cause them to become doubtful of motives and any changes in the company. Also without effective communication, employees become department minded rather than company minded, and this affects their decision-making and productivity in the workplace.
Eventually, this harms the overall organizational objectives as well. Hence, in order for an organization to be run effectively, a good manager should be able to communicate to his/her employees what is expected of them, make sure they are fully aware of company policies and any upcoming changes.
Therefore, an effective communication channel should be implemented by managers to optimize worker productivity to ensure the smooth running of the organization.
The key to effective communication is to match the communication channel with the goal of the communication.  For example, written media may be a better choice when the Sender wants a record of the content, has less urgency for a response, is physically separated from the Receiver, doesn’t require a lot of feedback from the Receiver, or the Message is complicated and may take some time to understand. Oral communication, however, makes more sense when the Sender is conveying a sensitive or emotional Message, needs feedback immediately, and does not need a permanent record of the conversation. Use the guide provided for deciding when to use written versus verbal communication.