We make New Year’s resolutions about things we feel are important…losing weight, exercising, saving money, planning effectively, etc. What about communication? In order to accomplish anything, we have to be good communicators. Have you made resolutions about that? Maybe you should. Here are some ideas to get you started.
”I vow to stop taking communication for granted and give it the respect it deserves. I will no longer make excuses that I don’t have time to apply the techniques that I know will help my readers, my listeners and me – no matter how busy I am.”
Some “I will stop” Resolutions…
Here are three habits you can vow to stop in 2012:
• I will stop frivolously sending e-mail without thought or planning.
• I will stop thinking about what I want and consider what my readers and listeners need.
• I will stop allowing meetings to just happen without thought or planning.
Some “I will start” Resolutions…
Below are suggestions of habits you can vow to start in 2012:
For Writing E-mail
- I will write descriptive subject lines that tell my reader the topic and the urgency (or non-urgency) so they can decide when to open and read.
- I will take the time to change the subject line of an e-mail as I forward or reply, as the subject changes.
- I will tell the reader exactly what I want them to do, feel, learn, understand or know – in the first paragraph.
- I will take care to keep my words, voice & tone and body language in sync so they are all sending the same message.
- I will plan questions ahead of time to ensure I involve my audience.
- I will listen respectfully and actively to others - even when I don’t agree with them.
For Facilitating Meetings
- I will only have a meeting when it is necessary and always ask myself: “Is a meeting the best way to accomplish this task and spend the time we have?”
- I will prepare for every meeting by creating an agenda and sharing it with the meeting members.
- I will ask for help to keep the meeting on time by assigning a timekeeper – and respecting their input.
Let’s make 2012 the year of clear communication. You know what you need to do to improve your communications at work. So stop procrastinating and do it! Or stop doing it!