Six Tips for Better Communication

Beverly Flaxington

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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As an industry, we lack communication and people skills. A number of meetings over the last few months prompted me to devote this week’s column to six tips to complement your technical and financial abilities with communication skills. These tips will make you a more effective leader.

  1. Learn how to present with confidence. Do you know your information really well and expect that everyone will understand why it’s important? This is all too common. Remember that an audience doesn’t see what you see and know what you know. Learn how to read your audience, be it one person or thousands, and deliver information to them in a context that allows them to fully understand the material and its consequences.
  2. Remember that they can work elsewhere. I hear far too many leaders say, “If they don’t like it, they can go somewhere else!” The worst nightmare for any boss should be that instead of going elsewhere, your employees decide to sabotage your organization in other ways. No organization can run well -- and succeed for the long term -- without motivated and enthused staff members. Yes, you can make money and have good financials, but a consistently top-performing organization needs committed employees to make it really hum.
  3. You can never communicate enough. Sent the email and given the bullet points about what the company is doing next? Think you’re done? This is a common failing. Many people in top offices – with firms large and small – think that just because they put a message out there, everyone knows it and receives it. Adult learners need to receive information in a variety of ways – written, auditory, visual – and they need to connect it to their day-to-day lives. What does the next big change mean to them, in their role? How should they understand it and think about it? Be clear and communicate in a variety of ways to ensure a message is heard.