The Importance Of Clear, Concise Communication by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

~George Bernard Shaw

Communication is the exchange of information. This is true if you are communicating with your children, partner, colleagues, or as a leader working with a team. Understanding if the information you are sharing is received and understood by everyone involved, and creating ways to enhance communication between everyone involved, helps to enhance the message, create uniform understanding, and even to spark creativity and problem solving at a much higher level.

Imagine if a conversation occurred where a speaker shared vital information that the listeners did not understand. Now, please continue with the scenario by imagining the listeners failed to grasp the importance of the information they missed and simply carried on without incorporating the relevant data.

This scenario would result in a team that couldn’t determine where the problem occurred. The speaker assumes the listeners are at fault for not hearing and incorporating the information, while the listeners blame the speaker for not being clear and concise with the message.

Team Building Through Communication

By focusing on communication at all levels in a company, including peer-to-peer and management to team, the type of disaster highlighted above can be completely avoided. Everyone learns the value of asking questions, with the speaker seeking confirmation of the message while the listeners use questioning to clarify and confirm their understanding.

When team members and leadership communicate effectively, there is a natural sense of trust and collaboration. With increased trust and collaboration, the team is more effective at working together, focusing on their areas of expertise, and working with small and large problems and obstacles that may naturally occur throughout a project, operation, or process.

Reduces Errors and Conflict

When the message is communicated in a clear, concise way that is available to the listeners, and the listeners ask questions for clarification, there is less room for mistakes and errors. This is true for big mistakes that cost a company money as well as for small errors that result in confusion and delays.

Teams that focus on effective communication are less likely to have ongoing conflict issues within the team. From a leadership perspective, reducing conflict between peers and direct or indirect reports reduces the time and money spent correcting misunderstandings and mistakes resulting from ambiguous or confusing written or verbal communication.

Finally, when communication is a focus, individuals feel heard, valued, and respected as part of the team. It allows everyone to share ideas, build a healthy workplace culture, and add value to any aspect of their work.