The 4 Steps to Effective Communication

The definition of communication, found in dictionary.com is as follows; “The exchange of thoughts, messages or information as by-speech, signals, writing, or behavior”.

Communication is vital in every relationship, whether it is in business, or personal. It requires one person to send a message while the other receives the message. But what happens in the case that it is not received like the sender EXPECTED? War has been created by miscommunication all because either the sender did not send the message correctly or the receiver did not listen very well, or the message was not received as expected. In order to be efficient in business, you must be able to convey the message in a proper manner or your business can fail.

Below are the 4 steps to having effective communication whether in a business relationship or a personal relationship:

Step 1: Listening: it is not the same as hearing; a person can hear something and not really give attention to it but when you listen, you consciously choose to give your whole attention. You hear with your ear and you listen with your mind. In order for a message to be properly conveyed the receiver needs to give their full attention in order to receive the message given.

Step 2: Processing: for some people, once they receive the message, it may be quick to process the message or it may take some time. This step is important in communication because it defines how specific your response will be. Also, this step will have a huge effect in communicating between one person to another. Processing is one of the hardest steps in communication because there are many obstacles that may prevent a person from receiving the message correctly such as; noise, power or just indifference.

Step 3: Organizing: this is when the receiver takes what they have received, in whole, and put in order the message from beginning to end; another word would be decoding. This is also a great time to REPEAT back to the sender what they have conveyed so that it can be clear and precise. Assumptions and mixed interpretations are made in this step which is why I suggest repeating back to the sender so that there will be no miscommunication. I have learned to use the “repeating method” in all my communication skills whether it is with business partners or even with my own family. It has helped to reach the last step which is responding.

Step 4: Responding: this step is when the receiver returns their answer to the sender after the receiver has understood the message that has been given by the sender. This is the final step in an effective communication where the receiver will respond by some action whether it be a critique or just a plain message. This is the last step to a complete and effective communication. In many cases, the sender may not receive the response very well by the receiver because there may have been a certain expectation that was not clear to the receiver. This is why in any communication it has to start with a clear message.

Here’s to great communication!

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