This training provides leaders with the critical insights into how they and their teams interact and interpret their surroundings and environments. In the context of an organisational environment, it gives leaders direct insight and a map into how and why employees and managers vary in drive, skill, capability and potential. Not accepting the simple generalizations that we are all different, but exposing the simple mechanics that explain why we are all different, and how we can direct ourselves and our teams to achieve consistent results.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in the business of delivering products or services– either way, your success depends heavily on communication. When things go wrong, you can almost always trace the problem to a breakdown in communication. And when things go right, it’s usually great communicators who helped create the successful results. It’s a necessary skill in every aspect of business, social and family life. How you communicate will determine if you lead, command respect, earn trust and are well liked. Poor communicators will suffer from confusion, low self-esteem and frustration.
Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another; it involves a sender transmitting an idea, information, or feeling to a receiver. Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit.
Utilising aspects of the communication model will enable individuals to have a greater awareness of self and how we interpret external events and our surroundings in a both an organisational and personal context. The content is based around the core purpose and role of every leader, which is to impact, inspire and influence those around them consistently, starting with themselves. Knowing and applying the communication model is what will give leaders and employees the edge to consistently produce outstanding results.
Studying the communication process is important because you coach, coordinate, counsel, evaluate, and supervise throughout this process. It is the chain of understanding that integrates the members of an organization from top to bottom, bottom to top, and side-to-side. Anything that prevents understanding of the message is a barrier to communication. Many physical and psychological barriers exist:
- Culture, background, and bias — We allow our past experiences to change the meaning of the message. Our culture, background, and bias can be good as they allow us to use our past experiences to understand something new, it is when they change the meaning of the message that they interfere with the communication process.
- Noise — Equipment or environmental noise impedes clear communication. The sender and the receiver must both be able to concentrate on the messages being sent to each other.
- Ourselves — Focusing on us, rather than the other person can lead to confusion and conflict. Some of the factors that cause this are defensiveness (we feel someone is attacking us), superiority (we feel we know more that the other), and ego (we feel we are the center of the activity).
- Perception — If we feel the person is talking too fast, not fluently, does not articulate clearly, etc., we may dismiss the person. Also our preconceived attitudes affect our ability to listen. We may listen uncritically to persons of high status and dismiss those of low status.
- Message — Distractions happen when we focus on the facts rather than the idea being communicated. Semantic distractions occur when a word is used differently than you prefer. For example, the word chairman instead of chairperson may cause you to focus on the word rather than the message.
- Environmental — Bright lights, an attractive person, unusual sights, or any other stimulus provides a potential distraction.
- Smothering — We take it for granted that the impulse to send useful information is automatic. Not true! Too often we believe that certain information has no value to others or they are already aware of the facts.
- Stress — People do not see things the same way when under stress. Our psychological frames of references — our beliefs, values, knowledge, experiences, and goals, influence what we see and believe at a given moment.
These barriers can be thought of as filters, that is, the message leaves the sender, goes through the above filters, and is then heard by the receiver. These filters may muffle the message. And the way to overcome filters is through active listening and feedback. Hearing and listening is not the same thing. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound. It is involuntary and simply refers to the reception of aural stimuli. Listening is a selective activity, which involves the reception and the interpretation of aural stimuli. It involves decoding the sound into meaning. Listening is divided into two main categories: passive and active. Passive listening is little more than hearing. It occurs when the receiver of the message has little motivation to listen carefully, such as we often do when listening to music, television, or when being polite.
At the end of this session the learner will be able to:
- Describe the communication process
- Explain effective communications
- Identify 5 barriers to communication
- Name the components of the communications model
- Immediately apply the tools to their own situations and challenges