So what is communication? We may think we are communicating when we raise our voice at someone to emphasise a point - but all the other person is hearing is that we are angry!
A common mistake people make is to focus on the delivery of information, rather than how it is received. Communication has to be two-way.
In our training sessions, we often do a "folding paper" exercise, where participants are asked to close their eyes and hold up a sheet of paper. They then follow our step by step instructions to fold and tear it in different ways.
The instructions are very clear.
Yet when they open their eyes and hold up their finished work, all of the pages look different. They had listened, but had not been able to ask questions to clarify each step.
If you transfer that into the workplace, in a situation where an employee starts a new job or a new task, they are keen to impress and may be reluctant to ask the important questions.
Communication is one way - often leading to mistakes and inevitable frustration.
This communication breakdown happens in our daily interactions with people - and is even more frequent in the written word, such as phone texts and emails.
You only communicate when the message you send out has been received and sent back to you, so you know that it has been properly understood.
This applies whether you are at work, communicating with employees, suppliers or customers, or at home, communicating with your family and friends.
In this section of the website, you can explore more about what is communication and the skills needed to communicate effectively.
Click on the headings below to find out more..
This training workbook and web video is packed with ideas and worksheets to help you develop your communication skills.
This Audio Guide answers common questions managers have about what is communication. It covers a wide range of situations in the workplace. You will hear ideas on how to read body language, active listening, building empathy and other basic communication skills.
You will also be able to download the Communication Styles Questionnaire to discover your preferred communication style.
Explores the need to select the right channels of communication and the barriers which can stop good communication from happening.
This page focuses on inter personal communication skills. It will show you how to communicate better on a one to one basis and help you build better relationships at work and in your personal life. Also check out our Listening Skills Test.
Learn how to read body language, such as eye contact, hand movements, facial expressions and posture. These non verbal communication signals play a major role in how we communicate with others.
Having the skill of empathy really adds to your ability to communicate. But do you block empathy without realising it? Find the common pitfalls here.
Here you will find more ideas on improving communications in the workplace. Effective communication methods will go a long way to creating a positive work culture and a can do attitude. Team communication skills and feedback are some of the tools covered on this page.
Do you need advice on a specific communication question? In this forum you will receive answers. You can also share your experience and advise others on their communication issues.
For a comprehensive step by step approach to building your management skills, download our Essential Management Skills Workbook Collection.
This collection contains SIX workbooks, covering Communications, Presentation Skills, Time Management, Leadership, Motivation and Managing Change. You will receive a 20% discount compared to buying the books separately!
Each workbook comes with a FREE companion webinar recording.
Click here for more details.
Read our latest newsletter - Avoid the Pain of Employee Turnover - 3 Steps to Maintaining Business Performance or view our back issues for more concise tips on practical management skills.