Effective Communications In The Workplace


Would you like your managers to communicate more effectively?

85% of conflict is not really conflict but issues arising out of poor communications. To minimise the occurrence of this ‘type of conflict’, we recommend managers are trained in the art of using a ‘precision communication’ model.

Precision communication model

A precision communication model aims to support the delivery of information in a precise, unambiguous, non-confrontational and transparent way. One would think this was a simple thing to achieve especially since in a professional environment, transfer of information should be factual.

Most managers believe their communications are clear and effective. However it is human nature to unconsciously hijack our own communications. Effort, preparation and mindfulness are required to minimise these hijacking incidents because they not only distract the listener from the intended message, but in themselves invite the listener to construct an additional message built on their own perceptions and feelings.

‘Hijacked’ communication interactions

Every listener most likely starts listening with the intention of learning from or being given (for some purpose) a piece of information. However it is also human nature for the listener to hijack the communication by:

  • attaching feelings to the words being heard;
  • making assumptions in the absence of full information;
  • being side tracked by their internal negative dialogue about the speaker;
  • being emotionally reactive to the speaker’s verbal and non-verbal language; and
  • gathering information via all their senses to form perceptions.

When a listener hijacks the communication interaction, they are most likely paying attention to these things in this order of priority:

  • their own internal feelings and internal dialogue created by this situation;
  • the answer, defence or explanation they are wanting to put forward;
  • the overall communication from the speaker;
  • the intended message of the speaker.

Using the precise communication model

Therefore, a precise communication model must be constructed to mitigate the risks of either party hijacking the communication interaction. ‘We can only control what is in our control’ and so the responsibility for this risk mitigation lies first with the speaker.

In terms of supporting the listener to form positive perceptions, the speaker must present as a professional and communicate as one. What is actually said in a conversation is just as important as building rapport, attending to personal appearance and personal hygiene, attending to the appearance of your environment and the ability to monitor one’s non verbal cues so as to minimise any negative impact on the communication.

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About the Author

Catherine Gillespie brings a wealth of skill to her clients. With particular expertise in teaching communication and workplace conflict resolution skills, Catherine has made a marked difference to the organisations she has worked with. She empowers teams and managers to adopt constructive styles that support harmony, productivity and progress in the workplace.