The Best Organisations Invest In Communication.
Think of the different personalities within your organisation; no doubt there are some natural influencers amongst them – those people who have a knack of communication and persuasion. Perhaps they’re the extroverts in the office who love nothing more than pitching for business. If we’re being scientific about it, they’ll probably be loitering around the ESFP, ENFP boxes of a Myers-Briggs exercise.
We love categorising people, don’t we! Of course it’s really helpful, if not vital, to help our people play to their strengths. But have you ever wondered what could be achieved if you nurtured some of the less obvious talents of those in your team? Have you considered how many great ideas simply wither away because someone doesn’t have the confidence, the encouragement or the platform to speak out?
Good communication takes skill not luck
Your team has diverse skills – it’s what makes them brilliant! Every day they interact with each other, your donors, partners, volunteers, beneficiaries, and suppliers. They might not be on the front line sales force, but they’re all communicating, persuading, networking and building relationships – and being effective in their role relies on more than just personality type.
Communication is one of those skills that some people inherently seem to have in swathes – we generally call it the gift of the gab – but there is no reason why all of us can’t be better at communication. And that doesn’t just involve the words we use either. In fact, most of what we communicate is non-verbal, so it’s fair to say there’s a lot to think about.
Better communication means better results
Imagine the ideas that would surface, the relationships that could be built, and the problems that could be solved if everyone was that little bit better at getting their ideas across. Your donor care team could manage that frustrated supporter with greater ease; your IT team could explain the technical upgrade so much more quickly and those ideas that many of your team have been too nervous to share could come to light.
Top tips for effective communication
Here are our six top tips designed to improve the way you and your team communicate clearly and effectively so that you can share knowledge and ideas confidently.
Plan and rehearse – get to grips with what you want to say, identify your key messages and practice, practice, practice.
Use plain English and avoid jargon – it’s easy to get swept up in lots of clever terminology and jargon but if you want to get your message across then keep your language simple and straightforward.
Keep your presentation short and simple (if you are using one) – don’t get bogged down in slides and bullet points. Think about what your audience really needs to see.
Use eye contact and positive body language – we can’t stress the importance of this one enough. Make the audience feel like you are talking to them and that they want to listen.
Grab attention and tell a story – understand your audience and get them to listen by asking them a question or telling them a story that is relevant or interesting to them.
Relax and be yourself – nerves can get the better of us in any situation but with practice communicating effectively can be a natural and enjoyable experience – get out there and keep on trying.
As with everything – it’s practice breeds perfection. The first step is often the hardest one to make, but by developing a culture where your team are encouraged to stretch themselves and try new things –you could unlock a whole world of potential.