First, let’s define both words in effective communication.
Effective means, “successful in producing a desired or intended result.”
So right off the bat, we see effective implies that we are trying to achieve something. We want something to happen. We want someone to do something.
Communication means, “exchanging information or news.”
What is Effective Communication?
Effective communication is when a person wants a desired outcome by sharing key information or news. The purpose of effective communication is to influence others to achieve a goal or result. This is much different from small talk with your colleague or boss. When we communicate effectively, we want someone else to do something.
When you’re the boss, effective communication helps you influence and change the people who report to you and others in the company.
When you’re the reporting manager to the boss, effective communication helps you show that what you do has value for the bottom line.
When you’re speaking to customers, effective communication will help you sell more stuff.
Here are four key characteristics of effective communication.
- You need to have clarity on the topic you are communicating. When I say clarity, I mean being able to say your topic in 70 characters.
- You need to know your audience and offer a recommendation or call to action.
- You need to tell your audience why they (or the business) will have the advantage by following your recommendation.
- Your communication needs to be crystal clear, without the use of jargon or words that make you sound smart.
Remember, effective means you are going for a specific result. Communication is sharing important information.
If what you are sharing does not have a clear call to action, is not important, or does not change behavior, then it is not effective communication.