Let’s Communicate!: The 4 Essential Traits of Successful Communication
Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, once commented: “Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence. To survive in the world, we have to act in concert with others”.
Many times, we fail to understand that communication is an art to learn, a road to take, the constant balancing and juggling of needs and wants, in an effort to building stable and long-lasting relationships, be it with friends, colleagues or even clients. Communication is undeniably the key to life and the foundation of relationship. Here are 4 truths about the art of communication which every communicator should know.
Honesty: Tell the truth! – Lying has become such an integral part of human nature that we rarely realize the little white lies we tell to get ourselves out of trouble. As public relations professionals, we believe in truth-telling. Contrary to popular belief, public relations (PR) professionals are anything but spin doctors. Instead of spinning untruthful stories, PR professionals are in the business of transmitting accurate and truthful information to the public on behalf of clients. When you start thinking that lying may be the last option, always remember that honesty builds the foundation for any form of communication. Lying always damages the delicate and powerful nature of communication.
Paying Attention: Lend a listening ear – Listening has truly become a lost art. Listening always precedes understanding. The next time you find yourself in a feud or any misunderstanding, try pausing for a moment and listening to the other party. Most times, we listen to one another without giving full attention to what our friend, colleague or even client may be trying to communicate. You’d be amazed to find the amount of information you can receive when you decide to listen with unprejudiced attention. Likewise, communication without listening is like an incomplete mathematical equation. As PR professionals, we are always ready to listen to the messages that our clients are communicating to us, after which we can readily and accurately forward to the public.
Being Detail-Oriented: Don’t dodge the details! – Just as we train our ears to pick up details, developing a set of keen observation skills can add to seamless and uninterrupted communication. Whether in speech or in writing, always double- or triple-check everything you do—from making sure you’ve got the right people copied on e-mails to making sure you’ve brought biscuits for that important meeting (Not to mention making sure your copy is clean and sharp). This attention to detail is what sets apart a great communicator from a good one.
Perseverance: Keep pressing on – Communication is truly an art and for this very reason, it is set apart in terms of the amount and quality of time and effort placed to nurture a strong set of communication skills. As it is most commonly said, communication is two-way and yes, it is complicated and sometimes frustrating to figure out, but giving up is surely not an option. It is imperative to remind ourselves that everyone is a work in progress in learning how to communicate artfully.
By Danielle Rajaratnam, PR Associate at Corporate Media Services
This Week’s PR News Highlights
Social Media tools are meant to be used effectively during a crisis.Steve Yaguer highlights the Dos and Don’ts of using Social Media in Crisis Communications.
Laura Finlayson vice president and director of digital strategy at Beckerman shares the 5 Social Media Rules You Learned in Kindergarten.
5 Takeaways from Papa John’s Debacle by Gil Rudawsky explains the use of social media in the intricacies of an online crisis.