You can be a better communicator

Fireworks over the Pacific bay at Puerto Vallarta!

Fireworks over the Pacific bay at Puerto Vallarta!

Communication is a key skill that is an absolute necessity for a human being to interact with another. Many of us can communicate well; many can’t; many can communicate well in some situations and not in some; many can communicate well with some but not with others. In other words, there are limitations – most of which can be overcome be observing other good communicators and having an open mind. There are many must do’s for being a good communicator. You can find books and topics galore on the internet and the stores. I wanted to share some aspects that I observed that could help. These are by no means unique or new, but applies to almost everyone. These apply in all areas of life, work, friends, etc.

  1. When someone emails you, be responsive or reply that I will get back to you in a definite amount of time.
  2. When you are sent an invite, please RSVP by the set date. Don’t let your intentions hang forever. It is disrespectful not to reply when you were sent an invite for an occasion. A lot of thinking and thoughts would have gone into the invite. Same deal at work – let the sender know whether you can attend or not.
  3. At work, nowadays, the means of communication have changed drastically from the days of memos and phone calls. It is emails and texting and even social media. So if sometimes texts you, reply back. It is essential to do this as you are part of a team. My team constantly texts me on my personal phone, but with unlimited texting and minutes, I have no reason not to reply even though it is personal. If someone is texting you, they see a need for it.
  4. Don’t take offense to reminders and multiple requests. There are reminders and multiple requests because you did not respond in time per the sender’s expectations. If you haven’t replied or past your committed time, then it is up to you to let the sender know by when you can respond.
  5. Many people don’t read all their emails. Maybe they get thousands of them like those executives or those on the leadership team. Rest of us need to review each email. Most of these are informational anyway. I have seen co-workers having not even opened their emails when I sent it ‘to’ them (and not cc’ed). This is in essence not doing your job. If you sent an email to an executive that didn’t get response, it is okay to call and leave a voice-mail or send a text message requesting a response. That is the only way you might get to a very busy person.
  6. If an email trail gets beyond 3-4 replies, best to call a meeting and talk over the topic. It can be annoying to see a long trail and messages get lost in long trails.
  7. If you think someone has sent you an inappropriate email/message, you should be upfront and state so. If not, don’t keep mum; respond.
  8. Communication is both oral and written. For oral communication, you need to be very clear in your speaking. Many of us have a drawback that we don’t open our mouth wide enough. The mouth cavity is essentially a speaker that amplifies the voice. If it is closed, others cannot hear them well enough – simple.
  9. While speaking make sure the other person hears you. This means you might have to turn your head and direct your speech and sound to the listener(s). This happens very often in a car when people talk not realizing the other person is by the side or behind. Many times not reading facial expression while listening can lead to misunderstanding.
  10. The golden rule of mine when it comes to a conversation (outside of work) is to let the other person talk. Don’t just talk away all yourself. Make it 50-50. Engage the other person by inquiring about them – it is not all about you. This will win you more friends. I know a lot of people don’t bother to stop talking about themselves. Unless you are lecturing, this got be a two-way communication most of the time!

That’s it – my tit-bits about doing talking and writing right!


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