21 Jul Simple Tips for Communicating Effectively – Online and Offline
In decades gone by, written communication was paramount. We wrote love letters, passed notes in class, sent memos around the office, and mailed our intentions in first-class envelopes. We slowed down and took the time to say what we meant. In a world of emails and text messages, our communication has swirled into a flurry that can often be misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misread. How can we be sure that we are communicating well?
Clarity is Key
First and foremost, we need to be upfront about expectations. Whether you are running a business, or leaving a to-do list for a loved one, being clear about what you need to see happen is critical. Inversely, make sure you are clear about what you will deliver. Especially in writing, your clear explanations of what you want to see happen and what you plan to do will be a blueprint for building future relationships.
Kindness goes A Long Way
Even when communication gets awkward and dicey, when you have to express disapproval or frustration, keeping kindness at the forefront paves the way toward more and better communication. If you have set clear expectations, you don’t need to use harsh words or undertones to express your point. Wrap it all up in a kind word or two – we could all use a little brightness in our day.
Follow Up As Necessary
Whether you are writing a sales note, or dropping a letter to a friend, staying in touch is the point. Communication is a two-way street, and it thrives on back and forth responses. If you don’t hear back, positively or negatively, a nice little reminder is always good. And when you do hear back, make sure you respond promptly to keep the communication alive.