Communication means sharing of feelings, emotions, ideas between two or amongst more individuals. The prime objective of communication is understanding. The person to whom the message is sent, should understand the message and intentions of the sender. Communication is said to be effective when the objective of communication is completed.
Effective communication involves active/reflective listening. Let’s look at the 5 Strategies for Effective Communication.
Confirming – using short comments, gestures or non-verbal sounds to let customers know you are interested, and to verify that you understand what they are talking about.
Comment – “I understand”
Gesture – nodding
Non-verbal sound – “Mmm Hmm”
Paraphrasing – restating information to make it clearer and more understandable.
A postal clearance will go out. That means we send a letter to the postmaster to find out if s/he receives mail at the address we have listed. That tells us if the address is good.
Reflecting – listening to information, processing it, then restating it back to the speaker to summarize your understanding of what s/he is saying. Reflecting statements should also reflect the customer’s emotions and feelings whenever possible.
“So in other words, he claims he hasn’t had enough money to make a payment in 6 months, yet he bought a brand new car? You sound angry at him, and I can see why.”
Making Eye Contact – letting the customer know you are interested, you are listening, and you want to help. Lack of eye contact can create an environment of distraction or distrust.
Questioning – listening to information, then asking questions to expand on that information. Questioning enables you to understand the meaning of customers’ comments or phrases.
“You said you don’t think you should be paying this amount anymore. How have your circumstances changed?”
Guidelines for effective communication:
Clarity of purpose : It is said that think before you communicate. You should know the purpose of communication only then you will be able to convey your feelings properly
Needs of the receiver : Needs of receiver should always be considered because what we communicate, should have some value to the receiver. If we are aware of the needs of the receiver then we will be able to satisfy him because he becomes more receptive.
Feedback : Problems in communication arises because we never try to know whether the message is understood. Feedback improves learning so by asking questions and encouraging the receiver to give his reply/ reactions we can know whether the message is understood or not.
Listening : Since communication is a two way process so the receiver should also pay proper attention towards the speaker.
Control your emotions : Your emotions should only intervene when required, during communication when you are required to apply brain your heart(emotions) should not be allowed to intervene.
Eliminate barriers : Barriers may give differently different meaning to a message. In order to make a communication effective, barriers should always be avoided.