Is Learning to “Communicate Effectively”​ as Easy as it Sounds?

communication

[ kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuhn ]

Noun

  1. the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.
  2. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs… (dictionary.com, 2020). 

I’m not in the minority when I say that at times, I am a bad communicator. We are humans. Our desire to be heard is a reason why we often communicate without listening or allowing the other party to exchange ideas. 

Communication happens in many ways. Body language, tone, and listening help to round out effective communication. Job mistakes and misunderstandings arise because of a lack of listening, communication, and meeting of the minds. Listening with the intent to respond rather than with respect and understanding can create problems in meetings and on the job. Speaking in a specific tone can be offensive. Body language can make communication unclear and even offensive in some cultures. 

How do we train employees to be effective communicators? Humans are complex. Adult learning is complex. Adult learners want skills to be relevant and easy to apply to their jobs. Additionally, motivation plays a large role in adult learning. How can we teach teams to be effective communicators? Consider making the skill of effective communication: 

  • Relevant to their job,
  • Give employees a chance to apply the skill and, 
  • Motivate employees to learn. 

Relevance

Training must be relevant to an employee’s job role. A generic course on effective communication means nothing to an employee who specializes in product sales. Consider aligning effective communication strategies with their job role. 

Example: Effective communication is critical for jobs that involve an employee or team safety. Listening takes an active (even life or death) role for an employee who is a system operator for a utility company. System operators may complete training on how to apply human performance listening tools like ” three-way-communication.” Incorporating effective communication techniques like speaking clearly and active listening gives the employee tools to be a better communicator in their role. 

Application 

Training is often “one and done.” Most learners leave their training at the door when they leave the session. Training does not end when the learner leaves class. Training should extend beyond the classroom. Employees need to be able to successfully perform a task and managers should be able to measure their employees’ performance. Managers should receive training on how to observe and measure and provide feedback regarding their employees’ performance. Learners also need to have a safe environment to practice, make mistakes, and improve their newly learned skills. 

Example: Listening and clear communication mitigates mistakes when safety operators perform the “three-way-communication” task. Learners need to have an environment where they can safely practice and perfect the skill and newly learned communication approaches while managers observe while providing respectful and clear feedback. 

Motivation

Demonstrating how training is relevant and easy to apply to their job will help to motivate employees to learn and use the skill in their work roles. Effective communication is relevant and highly motivating to a system operator as, without it, the consequences are grave. 

Example: A system operator’s motivation is to not be physically harmed or harm someone else while performing their job.

Consider incorporating effective communication techniques into your next employee training. Show your team how communication is relevant to their role, give them space to practice, and help motivate them to succeed. 

66% of organizations experience a gap of skills in areas of basic communication and interpersonal skills.* Schedule a consultation with me today to develop a plan to improve your team’s communication skills.

Published: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/learning-communicate-effectively-easy-sounds-kellie-tinnin/, 10/25/2020

*TD.org, 2019 State of the Industry

Hi, I’m Kellie. I Love Learning and Bulldogs

This is me, and my other “ride or die, ” in Japan in 2015

Well, here we are. Here I am. Welcome.

It’s an interesting place to be when you are starting a new business. One puts their knowledge, skills, and abilities on display, leaving you a bit vulnerable. Vulnerability is something I am not a fan of. I hope those of you reading will become loyal followers of my journey into the world of Learning and Development consulting. At least, I hope you tune in for pictures of my dog, Momo.


I specialize in learning and development… and bulldogs. For those of you that don’t know me, my “ride or die” is an 8-year-old English Bulldog named Momo. She smells, loves the dirt, is stubborn, and is tons of fun. I encourage you to go and find one right away.


I love traveling. I say I will make my way back to Japan someday. I found a love for the country in 2015 when my other “ride or die” (aka the husband) made our first visit. There is an odd calmness to the culture, even in a big city like Tokyo that I miss. That, and a vending machine on every street corner. My dream is to one day expand the work that I do to Japan. I also love food and hot yoga, not particularly in that order. I like to call myself and “equal opportunity eater” as I will give most foods the “old college try.”


“To make a measurable difference in the way small businesses learn, lead others, and positively contribute to the people they serve.


I have a lot of passion for what I do and I work hard to do what is best for my clients. I strive to make a measurable difference for those I work with. I also want hope to learn from those that I have the pleasure of working with. I am a big believer in the concept that it takes a team to inspire change in an organization. I hope that I can help your team and together we can inspire change for your team or organization.


As you join me on this new journey, I look forward to hearing from you, sharing with you, and learning from you.


Please, love, bulldogs,
Kellie

The office “help” hard at work