Effective communication plays such an important part in working life and a solid skill to develop for greater success at getting your point across, expressing your opinions, and leading yourself and teams.
What I’m keen to explore though is a deeper step into effective communication: productive communication. It’s great that people can understand what you’re saying, but is it productive? Is it progressive? Is it helpful?
Effective communication needs to be productive; it needs to have a purpose; it needs to have a point for it to be necessary.
Of course, effective communication can also be productive; Leadership Choice lists 4 productive benefits of effective communication, for example mitigating conflict and workplace tension. They explain that whether tension is derived from misunderstanding, not understanding how others communicate, or feeling that emotional needs are being disregarded,:
‘[…] Regardless of the conflict, communication is usually an underlying factor.’
Researching into effective communication, you’ll find somewhere that explains that there are 4 main components to it.
Sorry, 5 components.
No, 6 components.
Wait, 8 over here.
Or are there 9 to be on the safe side?
Whatever the number, there doesn’t seem to be anything about the usefulness and purpose of the communication within these. Adhere to the 4, 5, etc. components and you will no doubt be an effective communicator, and I’m not here to pooh-pooh them. But what’s the point if you don’t have a point?
Your communication needs to have a purpose and intention. If you want to be an effective and productive communicator, check out a really helpful post I read on productive communication which includes these two significant elements within its 10 tips on being strategic about productive communication.
Know your point. Know your intention. Know the outcome or product of your communication.