By communication we mean, the exchange of information between two or more members of an organization. To us the provision of information within an organization comprises the people, resources and measures, that are aimed as a whole at the information needs of that organization. Although it seems obvious to have, there are very few organizations where both intercommunication and a general information provision are optimal.
The importance of good communication and information
Good communication is essential for an organization. Only if both horizontal and vertical communication function well, people can work well together; they can respond quickly to internal and external changes and it is clear to everyone what needs to be done and why. Especially that last part also depends, on the quality of the information provision, that must ensure that everyone is sufficiently connected. What makes communication so difficult, is that there is always a sender and a receiver; each with their own standards, expectations and frames of reference. And then there’s also all sorts of miscommunication that may arise.
What can you contribute to good communication?
Although it is rather tricky to communicate well, and even professionals regularly find it difficult, there are still a few things you can do to improve the communication process.
It starts by listening carefully to what exactly is being communicated. Do not make assumptions, and focus purely on the content.
Try to figure out why something is being communicated; what the idea behind it might be. This often creates more understanding toward a message that you may not even agree with.
Keep asking questions when you don’t understand the information or when you feel that it is incomplete. Keep on asking questions until you grasp the essence of the message.
Summarize what you have heard and ask for confirmation. A question like, “So if I understand you correctly, you want me to…” can prevent many misunderstanding.
You can also apply this technique in reverse. You can check whether the other person has understood you correctly, by asking him or her to briefly summarize your message.
Try to avoid miscommunication as much as possible. You can do this by communicating somewhere quiet and at a convenient time, and by making sure you have the other person’s full attention.