Effective Communication
increasing care, respect and love

celebrating communication

What is Effective Communication?

  • Effective Communication is a communication strategy,  guidelines resulting in giving care, respect and love to yourself and others.
  • It is a complete communication strategy, meaning that it is clear, concise, and it contains all of the information necessary for the recipient to be able to respond or go into action without stress or confusion.
  • Effective Communication gives the person delivering the communication a feeling of calm, completion and having given care, respect and love to another.

General Points for an effective communication strategy

  • Refrain from communicating in writing or verbally when you are emotionally disturbed. Take time to either release or calm yourself first.
  • Don’t communicate from any of the 10 No’s, for example, assumptions, judgments, negative thoughts.

Effective Communication

Written Communications

  • Start with your intent for sending the communication.
  • Give sufficient background information for the points to come.
  • Deliver the points of your communication in order (A-B-C … Z).
  • Clearly identify the various topics you may need to deliver. 
  • If you are making a request, let the recipient know by when you need your request fulfilled, a status report, or give the person some indication of timing associated with your request.
  • Let the person know if you would like them to acknowledge receipt of your communication, or if that is not necessary.
  • If you receive a written communication, take a moment to let the person know you received it, so they can complete that cycle. This moment of respect goes a long way in effective communication.

Verbal Communications

  • For longer communications, or communications with multiple points, it is recommended that you make notes of the points you want to cover prior to delivering a verbal communication. It helps you gain more clarity and calm, and then the communication can be delivered and received with a feeling of care.
  • First, take some time to connect with the person you are about to communicate with.
  • Ask the person if this is a good time for them for a communication.
  • Let the person know approximately how much time you might need for the interaction.
  • If this is not a good time for the person, ask them when would be a good time for them to have a (give a time, for example 10-15 minutes) conversation with you.
  • If this is a good time for the person, make sure you’re get situated in the right place, for example, instead of standing in a store, you might go and sit in a café.
  • Give the person your intent and background for the communication.
  • Deliver the communication in sequence (A-B-C … Z).
  • If you are making a request, let the recipient know by when you need your request fulfilled, a status report, or give the person some indication of timing associated with your request (see under “Request” for more information).
  • Ask the person is they have any questions or need clarification on anything.

Making Verbal Requests

  • When delivering a verbal request, either hand the person the request in writing, or ask them to write it down. Make sure they have something to write with.
  • If writing down a request is new for the person you are interacting with, give them some background for your request to write it down, for example, “I have a request to make of you. It has multiple points to it, and I want to ask you to write down these points so that we’re very clear and so you have all the points in writing which makes it easier for you to refer back to them.” 
  • If there’s another way you want to give them more understanding, take the time to do this before making your request.
  • If you handed the person your request in writing, ask them to read it while you are with them in person. After they have read your request, ask if they need clarification on any of the points.
  • If you asked the person to write down your request, ask them to read it back to you to make sure they captured all of your points exactly.
  • Don’t leave the interaction without having made sure that both parties are clear on what needs to happen.
  • Clearly identify “by when’s”.
  • If you need regular updates or status reports, make sure to let the person know.
  • At some point make sure to mark your calendar with the “by when date” so you can follow up your request if necessary.

Receiving Verbal Requests

  • When a person is about to deliver a verbal request to you, let them know you would like to take a moment to write it down to make sure you are clear about and capture all of the points.
  • After you have written down the request, make sure you clarify any points that you do not understand or you don’t have enough information about.
  • Make sure you have everything you need to properly act on the request (sufficient background information and intention for the request and clearly identified by when’s).

Receiving Written Requests

  • We recommend you don’t act on a request until you have full clarity about all of the points.
  • Send a list of questions asking for clarification to the originator of the request, letting them know that you want to make sure their request is fulfilled properly and you need more clarification / information in order to do so.

Venting

  • The purpose of venting is to get something out, to really be finished with something so you can let go of it. See separate document for Venting Guidelines.

Note
If you engage in social conversation or a brainstorming session, the same principles of a respectful communication strategy may not apply. It still is important to make sure you take time to connect with the person(s) you are interacting with and state your intent for the communication you would like to have with them.

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