Communication Keys for Success

By: Jeffrey W. Drake, Ph.d.

Whether you are a manager, supervisor, or frontline employee, there are always opportunities to improve communication. Often, communication problems occur when people don’t pay attention to the basics. Here are five keys to better communication.

Focus on the Situation or Behavior
When communicating, focus on the situation or the behavior occurring, not the person. This allows you to better communicate with the other person, rather than to seemingly pick on them. People tend to be more open to discussing the situation they are in or their behavior. When it gets personal, there is less willingness to change.

Focus on the Positive
Focus on the positive aspects of the other person to build the other person’s self-esteem.

By looking at something positive about the other person, you can better deal with areas needed for improvement.

Look for "Win-Win" Opportunities
Look for opportunities where both you and the other person benefit -- "win-win" situations where both of you can develop. In today’s rapidly changing world, managers, supervisors, and frontline employees can always learn from each other.

Strive for Open Communication
Strive for open and direct communication with others. A manager or supervisor can speak in a direct and clear manner and still show respect for the other person. Clear expectations provide direction for a job well done.

Share Information
Share appropriate information with others. Organizations are realizing that they are all on the same team. Better sharing of information means that managers, supervisors and frontline employees are better informed and can provide improved customer service.

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