The world around you improves each time you ask yourself and others how to improve your communication abilities. If you’re anything like me, you want to put and keep yourself in the group of people who do communicate better than the average person.
You might do the assessment by breaking out the four major elements of any successful communication and figuring out what you are best at, OK at, and not so best at. The four elements of the generally accepted model of effective communication are the Sender, Message, Receiver and Feedback. You know yourself better than anyone, so start with the areas listed above, and ask yourself fourteen more questions about how well you communicate.
Every part of the communication process is critical to actively improving your communication skills. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Giving your stakeholders the right amount of information how and when they want it reduces their anxiety and gets them off your back. Talking about how you’ll address conflict and disagreements before you have one can go a long way in improving team dynamics. I’ve never been a fan of meetings, but this is one that I hope teams everywhere carve out the time to have. I have come to realize that I am in meetings almost every day, both at work and in my community.
I appreciate hearing that 15 minutes for catch-up is appropriate if things are on track & no decisions need to be made.
When dealing with large groups I have found that breaking the larger team into smaller groups of 2 or 3 works very well.


It’s a good way to always be on the move, keep words to a minimum, and make progress. Be sure to include questions about how you encode, decode, associate meaning, and what channels you use (and why). Having a deliberate process and cadence of communication will save hours of lost time, productivity and drama.
If the purpose of some of your meetings is simply to update, brainstorm alternative communication strategies.
Agreeing in advance that you’re open to feedback and the best way to deliver it will also help promote healthy dialogue.
A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. Too often teams are in crisis mode or day-to-day status update mode… talking about how to work together effectively and set the ground rules is indespensible. I would wonder if there is a way to get the status and hold people accountable without the meeting?
One person from each small group can hold a succint conversation with me and we can cover an amazing amount of territory. Whether you are an executive, team leader, or entrepreneur, you can learn the secret to building deeper trust and connection with your team. Keep in mind that as the message moves through the communication process, the participants package, decode, and repackaged the content based on the needs of the sender, receiver, and communication channels. If you are asleep, I will include contact in the message as I shake and scream at you to get out of the house.
I knew one manager who just stopped sending all the mandatory reports his team was producing for three months, and no one noticed!


Be sure you’re clear on what you need from each team member and what they need from one another. Checking in on the process every now and then will reap huge dividends in future productivity.
But I do find a little time talking about how we communicate can make future meetings and other interactions so much more impactful. If most things are on track, it does seem like it could be a time waster to just report in (I think meetings are best for discussion and decisions). After delivering the message, I’ll do a quick check to make sure you understood it the way I intended it.
I’m not suggesting this approach, but a quick check-in may save you some valuable time. With that said, if you think it’s important from an accountability perspective, I would try to keep it as brief as possible, and give people the rest of their time back. The more time we engage in a meeting, the less time we have to produce a product outside of the meeting. Hopefully, you’ll give me some feedback (confirmation message) to let me know you understand I am not kidding around. I ‘m involved with a large consulting project, and the project manager wants us to meet via video each week. The meeting is schedule for an hour, but since all is going smoothly we typically knock it out in 15 minutes.



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