Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Communication Tips

Every communication needs to address some basic points. The communication may be with your team, your manager, your customer or your peers. If you keep this in mind, you’d avoid long mail threads resulting into lot of time savings.

  1. “What”, “When” and “How” form the three tips of the tripod on which you can build a successful stream of communication.
  2. For example if you are addressing your communication to your manager for an issue at hand, it would take following form:
    • Mention what is the issue that you are facing. If this is first communication about the issue, then you need to provide details of the issue as well. Otherwise, you can just refer to any earlier communication and state what the current state is and what you are proposing to tackle the issue.
    • To resolve the issue, you certainly have thought of some timelines/triggers etc. Mention that. If there’s some external dependency needed to be resolved by certain timeline, spell it out.
    • The most important part would be to mention how you are going to handle. This could be a list of points that you’d want to execute.
  3. If you are conveying something to your team this would take a different form, but the basic points that you need to include would still remain the same.
    • Mention what issue you want to get resolved.
    • Mention when you want that issue to be resolved.
    • Mention how you expect that issue to be handled. May be you have thought about certain individuals to take the ownership of the issue or may be you want a group of individuals to collaborate heavily to resolve the issue.
  4. The fourth tip which would add stability to your communication is to understand and/or address “Why” part. Many a times, individuals just don’t get why certain task is required or why certain process is in place. If that is the case, he/she may do a shoddy job or will execute the process in a most crude/ineffective way leading to a failure. This is the reason one should always address “why” aspect as frequently as possible.

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