Communicating Better

The RABC says communicating efficiently will help your business flourish

There are many elements to becoming a better communicator. Over the next three weeks, Kathryn Hotte will share her expertise, exclusively with LCN in a special three-part series.

Part 1: Improving your communication to succeed in life

“At the end of the day, it’s always about communication,” Kathryn Hotte, small business adviser with the Rural Alberta Business Centre, explains effective and efficient communication is the key to great relationships; whether they are personal or professional. “The two go hand in hand.”

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“The definition of communication, is really defined as: the passing on, sharing, or exchanging of ideas, knowledge and feelings of people. The reason I focus on sharing is, because it is really about sharing. It’s not about one person talking and the other listening. It’s not just one person,” Hotte says to be an effective communicator you must also be an engaged listener. “It really takes place when the receiver of the message, understands the message, the way the sender intended it to be.”

Hotte explains whenever she facilitates a communication based seminar she’ll typically ask the attendees some initial questions, including ‘do you feel comfortable talking to strangers?’, “and some people don’t, they just can’t strike up a conversation with others.” Hotte advises those are not great at conversing with strangers to put themselves out there and try it in their everyday lives. This way when it comes to business they will have some practice. It’s as simple as saying hi to someone in line with you at the bank.

“When you give instructions, do people complete the project the way you want them to? If not, then you have to wonder; ‘is it them or is it me?’.” Hotte says she’ll typically have people explain what types of communication problems they’ve had in the past and how they are connected, “usually, they are connected. If you’ve had communication problems in the past, how are they connected?”

Another barrier for communication is backgrounds, explains Hotte, “we’ve all come from different backgrounds, different values, ages, races, occupations and education levels. Those are all barriers, think of the message you’re giving and how it is received.”

Try to understand the other person before you try to impart your knowledge on them. – Kathryn Hotte Small Business Adviser RABC

Part of how the message is received, is how it is given, explains Hotte there are three types of communication:

  1. Verbal – Avoid the jargon & acronyms
  2. Vocal – Be aware of the tone & pitch of your voice
  3. Body Language – Be aware of how you are presenting yourself and how that may come off to others

 

Hotte explains by better understanding the true intention of communication, realizing how you’ve failed to best communicate in the past, what barriers are out there and the different types of communicating, you will be become a better, more efficient and effective communicator.

 

Come back next week for Part 2 of the Communication series with Kathryn Hotte.