COM-MU-NI-CA-TION: noun: \kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən\
The act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else
Have you been in a situation where something doesn’t go as planned or the way it was intended, then in the after math you find out that it was a miscommunication? It happens every day, with couples, in the work place and even in technology.
Communication is necessary for the simplest daily tasks, to be successful in school and even needed to win a war. This particular skill set is used in a wide variety and it is important to comprehend the specific process.
The communication process has a few basic elements:
- Source: Object which encodes message and send the message
- Message: Data, words and/or signals
- Channel: Medium or way to transmit the message
- Receiver: Object which receive and decodes the message
Even though we know these basic elements of communication, to do it effectively is a whole different game. There are many things to take into consideration when trying to deliver a message successfully, such as encoding to decoding compatibility, unwanted influences in the channel (better known as noise) and feedback.
For example: In Super Bowl XLVIII, with only 12 seconds into the game, Peyton Manning was trying to make some adjustments in the offensive line. He was giving audible commands just a few feet away from the line of scrimmage and suddenly the center snapped the ball; the play ended up in a safety.
The noise emitted by the fans in the stadium was such that affected the message from being delivered effectively to the offensive line.
It is also good practice to close the loop of an effective communication with a feedback. This confirms that the message has been received and understood in full.
For example: In a baseball game the catcher signals the pitcher, and then the pitcher answers with a head gesture as a response or feedback.
The catcher uses hand signals asking for a specific pitch, then a head gesture, typically a vertical move meaning “Yes, that one” or horizontally meaning “Not that one, next…”
In the work place, if you want to work as a team where everyone understands the goals and the tasks that are needed to be accomplished, good communication techniques are needed. How many times have you gone to the other side of the building to talk to someone because it was easier than typing an email? This shows that not every communication method is capable to capture the overall meaning of the message.
What if you work with a team that is spread out across the globe? How would you communicate effectively? Recently I was reading an article by Syed Balkhi, “Effective Communication Tips: Transforming Your Remote Workforce into a Collaborative Unit”, where he breaks down some important aspects of communication and skills needed to have a remote team working cohesively. In the article, Balkhi mentions the ability to listen as a core element of efficient communication. He also breaks down the importance of team building, sharpening email skills, managing stress, remove barriers to have an effective work force.
Skills such as listening and good encoding are necessary in any kind of situation, and some tips of what to do and not to do in order to get better. Some of the prior skills mentioned in Balkhi’s article are excellent considerations for a leader and members of a team to incorporate as a common practice. I strive to apply these skills daily and am continuing to grow and learn with my fellow team members.
At Cirrascale, we aim to practice these skills within our company and with our customers every day. This way we can capture the right requirements, develop better product with our partners and provide the best technology solutions possible to our customers.
Overall, there are many ways to deliver a message however, understanding how and when to do it effectively, will be the key to success.