The past seven years with my employer has shown me that the people promoted to higher positions distinguished themselves as ‘top performers’ by being better communicators than their peers. Two of the common communication characteristics these top performers practice include the ability to read the receiver’s interest and adjust their own communication style based on the receiver’s communication skills.
The receiver’s interest plays a big factor in whether your message will be effectively received. If the receiver has low interest, you need to use some persuasive techniques to get their attention. To do this, answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” then shape the path to your own communication objectives. Other techniques include talking to the receiver like a friend, be yourself and relaxed, you’ll be more accepting to the receiver.
Another way to get ...view middle of the document...
The communicator has an understanding of the communication process and always addresses both needs of the receiver. There are a series of steps in the communication process that ensures clear communication at all skill levels. These five steps are:
1. Open, state the purpose and importance of your communication and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
2. Clarify, share relevant information, issues and concerns. Build an accurate picture.
3. Develop; involve the receiver by asking for his ideas or suggestions.
4. Agree, specify a plan of action, the who, what, where and when’s.
5. Close with a summary.
In assuring that your communication style matches that of the receiver’s skill level, check for understanding and confirm. This can be accomplished in your summary.
These two communication characteristics; ability to read the receiver’s interest level and adjusting communication style to the receiver’s communication skill, are elements of a strategic approach to communication. We can think of the strategic approach like an onion and the strategy is at the very core of the onion. We peel away the layers of the onion, which represent the culture, environment, internal and external factors and the people involved in the communication process. But these two characteristics of a strategic approach can not occur separately, they are interdependent of each other as well as other communication characteristics that include: the relationship between the communication sender and receiver, the status difference between the two, the receiver’s emotional state and the receiver’s knowledge.
• Smeltzer, Leonard, Hynes
Managerial Communications-Strategies and Applications, 2nd Edition
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2002)
• Granville Toogood
The Articulate Executive (McGraw-Hill, 1996)
• Development Dimensions International
Leading People (DDI 2000)