Communication can determine if you are going to sink or swim in business and in your personal life. I know people believe that they know how to communicate but do they really know? It is not just about two or more people sending some sort of message back and forth it is also about being a good listener, really paying attention to what someone is saying, and responding appropriately to tone and body language. It is about allowing people to complete their thoughts and share their ideas not bullying themselves in the conversation. I hate it when people don’t listen and take over the conversation, why would I pay attention to what you are saying if you did not give the same respect back?
Culture and ethics are also at the top of the list to respectfully communicate with someone. When in doubt don’t express it, even if the saying or phrase is popular at the moment. What might be good from one person in a certain culture class may not be good for another. It is important to keep in mind that communication cues such as tone, hand gestures, and salutations vary with each culture. What might not be offensive in one culture may be offensive in another. I am not saying to wave your rights to freedom of expression I am just saying be mindful of the differences especially in a professional environment. This will help you build a stronger network and gain respect across the board. I personally have had several culture enriched experiences; all have made me a better communicator.
These basic ideas span beyond face-to-face communication they also fit with using different technical mediums for communication. Although, you do not see someone physically when texting you can get an idea of what they are trying to say by the “tone” in their text. Mediums such as texting and email give us an opportunity to think things through prior to hitting the send button. I have fell victim to the send button before really thinking things through…… those were not my best moments!
Unlike verbally speaking with someone in a heated moment where what comes to mind comes out and then disappears into thin air cyberspace messages mean the conversation will be forever out there for your intended target or targets to pick apart and bring up at every waking moment. It only takes one or two of these oopsie moments to realize that it is not such a good idea to send a message in an emotional state. Save the embarrassment, when in doubt hit the save as a draft button and better yet type your thoughts without identifying a To recipient. This way you have plenty of time to think things through before sending the message.