Human communication occurs instinctively, but it doesn’t always occur instinctively well. Far from it. Communication shouldn’t be considered an impromptu trait. In moments of stress, or in organizational settings (not that organizations need be stressful), communication can, and often does, go awry.
Rather than an impromptu exchange, communication needs to be well-considered. Fairness, indeed, requires that.
To communicate effectively is to transmit one’s intended meaning, and the feelings behind it, to another person or group of people in a manner that will prompt them to pay heed. It needs to be based on an accurate assessment of another’s feelings and situation. It ought to begin with a bit of reflection on the other person or group.
That can get complicated, and we don’t want to invite crippling complexity. But it’s well to walk, if just for a few moments, in another’s shoes before attempting to communicate with them. What’s going on here? is an appropriate consideration for the start of successful communication.
Communication is a process; it doesn’t just happen. In exchanges, you ought to seek some feedback to insure that you’re being understood.
Remember, attempts at communicating come readily, but effective communication doesn’t occur easily. If you’re talking to someone about a concept like community, for example, don’t assume that he or she shares your sense of the subject – that is, knows what you’re talking about.
Good communication begins with pauses for preventive reflection.