Today, information is everywhere, all the time. We live in the air of digital, marketing and mass communication and companies are not exempt from this. But does this array of information really improve business communication?
I propose in this article to return to the fundamental points of communication, its mistakes and especially the tools for improving communication in business.
The challenges of communication
It is widely agreed that communication is not just the transmission of information. Indeed, communication is a much more complex process of multiple interactions between actors whose main challenge is to make themselves understood. To do this, the sender of the message must ensure that they share a common sense with the recipient and that the codes and rites are shared by the receiver.
Imagine a young employee arriving in the company, he is dressed in a suit and passes by each office to kiss his colleagues. By his behaviour, he is communicating something. An uneasiness about novelty for example and an adaptation to some codes of politeness but these may not be those of this company.
It seems important to me here to remember that we cannot not communicate (see: Palo Alto School, the five axioms of Paul WATZLAWICK's communication). Everything is meaningful: the words of course and therefore the language used but also the look, the posture, the expressions, the clothes and the adaptation to the codes and rites of the company. It can be a specific vocabulary and technique, a social rite that is to say a way of greeting or approaching the other, a physical distance mutually agreed....
And all this is acquired by learning, which requires both observation and adaptation to the other party to succeed in communicating well.
The most common errors observed in communication are the non-definition of one's objectives, i.e. the "Why". What do I want the other to remember? This point is essential, and even more so in the light of an American study which showed that the rate of loss of verbal communication could reach 90%. Indeed, between what I have to say, what I say, what he hears, what he understands, what he retains and what he echoes, only 10 % of the initial message is perceived by the receiver.
We also very often find a message that is not adapted to the target or a choice of inadequate support (mail, chat, verbal communication ...). In the workplace, the trend is to multiply the media and over-use the mail. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, each member of a team spends an average of more than a quarter of a day looking at their mailbox and nearly 20% of the day looking for information in the same mailbox. What a waste of time in this meandering of information!
The expression of stakes is another communication error very often observed in companies and which considerably distances the links between people and teams. We find the issues of influence and power but equally the expression of identity, or an attempt at seduction. These issues bring about a focus on oneself and not an opening to the other, hence a barrier to communication.
But let's look at the tools that improve your professional communication.
10 keys to improve your professional communication
Communication is a key part of a company's life as it is a great tool to build team spirit and improve performance. That's why it's essential to have the best communication possible within your company. I present to you 10 axes of improvement:
To improve relationships with others, get out of your bubble, smile, watch and listen. Take a deep breath in the corporate culture and its social codes.
Choose your moment, your words, understand the expectations and reactions of your interlocutor to adapt to them and get your message across.
Feel free to ask questions to show your interest and use active listening, to clarify a topic or to help the other person develop their speech.
Use the open door technique that encourages regular communication and gives the message that you are open to communication.
For managers, set an example, be open, encourage speaking, sharing ideas and dialogue.
Clarify the roles and responsibilities of each one so that you can contact the right person.
Learn to make positive and effective comments for the project, avoid the "you" and prefer the "I".
Set coffee breaks to invite informal communication and improve inter-individual relationships.
Organize socially pleasurable moments, a lunch break together, an event, a team-building exercise...
Set up the right internal communication tools: a more responsive chat, for example, or a task manager who avoids the multiplication of contacts and meetings and saves a lot of time.
And do not forget that the most fundamental misunderstanding of communication is that "We enter into a relationship with our surroundings, with the other, not as he is or as he wants, but as we perceive him " Jacques Salome French Psychosociologist and writer.
Wrote by Séverine Lievin, psychologist of the Eutelmed Network
Eutelmed is also:
An international network of practitioners
40+ languages and cultures
Teleconsultations through a secured and confidential plateform
Subscribe to Eutelmed
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox