Since the dawn of time, humans have tried to communicate in many different ways. We need only think of the Egyptian hieroglyphics engraved on tombs, or of speech, which has evolved from gestures right up to the present day! Dozens of communication techniques testify to our need to stay in touch... phone, videoconferencing, email, text messaging, etc. But do we really know how to communicate well? In our private lives and with our work teams?
The Difference Between Communicating and Informing
After consulting various sources, we can define communication as the action of exchanging or sharing information in order to reach a mutual agreement, which creates a relationship between people.
In contrast, informing is the unidirectional transmission of information, data or knowledge; there is no exchange or relationship created here.
The 7 Components of Communication
To understand what follows, let's briefly review the 7 components of communication: the sender is the person who transmits the message to the receiver (who receives it). The message is the information exchanged between these two people.
The channel is the means chosen by the sender to make his message known. This can be in person, by phone, by text message, etc. The meaning of the message, on the other hand, can be distorted along the way, for example by being delivered in an inappropriate context where it may be misinterpreted.
Context is subdivided into two: spatial context and temporal context, referring to the time and place of the conversation, as well as the receiver's state of mind. Finally, the strategies used (whether conscious or not), are the attitudes and behaviors of the sender and receiver.
In light of these components, the question arises as to how to communicate with precision a message that will be understood by all while limiting random interpretations. This is the question that many managers ask themselves when they are about to deliver a message of great importance to their team. Could mastering the language of communication (French/English or other) help? Without a doubt!
For managers who need to make sure they are understood by their peers, employees, bosses, clients and collaborators, mastery of the language (French/English or other) becomes an undeniable advantage. Here's why:
- Mastery of the language enables them to communicate clearly and precisely. The right choice of words in structured sentences reduces misunderstandings and leads to a better understanding of the message.
- Employees who understand the message feel they can contribute their ideas to solving problems. As a result, they tend to get more involved at work, and greater satisfaction contributes to staff retention.
- Managing change is made easier by effective communication that clarifies the reasons for the change and the steps to be taken, and by knowing that they can refer to their boss for any questions or concerns.
- Managers must use persuasion to convince an employee or their boss. Mastery of the language (French/English or other) enables them to nuance their message, demonstrate the advantages, find the right arguments—in short: to influence the receiver.
- Mastery of the language enables managers to manage the cultural diversity that is increasingly present in companies. The use of a good vocabulary at work translates into mutual understanding that fosters team cohesion and inclusion.
- A manager who communicates effectively enhances their credibility and leadership internally, while reinforcing the company's brand image in every interaction with clients, suppliers and external partners.
In closing, let's keep in mind that, for a manager, effective communication means:
- Providing a clear, structured message, having taken care to choose the right words
- Choosing the right channel, the right tone and the right time to deliver the message
- Presenting the statement with conviction and persuasion to inspire confidence
- Listen to the other's interpretation to ensure that the message has been understood
- Keep an open mind to clarify upcoming questions
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At Bedard Human Resources, we can help you improve communications within your organization. Contact Stéphane Pépin for more information on our HR consulting services.