CLEAR Communications April 14, 2007Posted by David Dirks in Bronder On People, Management.
The Big Dogz know how to communicate. Effective managers use specific techniques to help themselves to be understood as well as to understand others. There are a lot less problems and consequently more profits when we communicate effectively and efficiently. This article will provide some guidelines on how to be effectively understood. The Big Dogz use the mnemonic CLEAR to help remember the principles of being understood when they communicate.
Clarify — give the listener enough information so they have a reasonable chance of understanding. Do not use jargon or confusing language. Most people in the work place have a vocabulary at the eighth grade level. Do not try to impress people with your vocabulary at work. Keep it simple.
Link — link your message to something they already know. Using analogies is an effective method of explaining how things are to be done. When outlining a task process, referring to previous experiences as a baseline for instructions works wonders.
Engage — get them involved in the communication. Encourage them to ask questions. Ask them to paraphrase what you have told them. When an employee says they have no questions and they understand, then you are heading for trouble!
Anticipate — think about what concerns or questions they should have. Include the answers to these questions in your communication. You can even say “You might be wondering about this.” Then answer your own question. Anticipate portions of your communication that may be troublesome for them to understand; be prepared to repeat this information in different approaches to insure understanding.
Respond — especially respond to questions with dignity and respect. Encourage them to ask questions by thanking them for asking the clarification question. Paraphrase the question before you answer it and verify you understand the question. Once you think you have answered the question, get verification from the employee that you have answered their question adequately. Be sure to ask for a paraphrase to check that what they heard was what you said.
If you will follow these simple techniques, you will see a significant reduction in the misunderstandings in your communications to employees. And, you will see a corresponding rise in profits!