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Ai Group Recruitment Services - Building Tomorrow's Workforce


Effective Communication

Communication is the sharing of understanding, meaning, ideas and feelings. It is the transferral and understanding of meaning. Good communication is a key productivity driver and should occur across the three levels of an organisation – individual, team and organisational.

Communication is the sharing of understanding, meaning, ideas and feelings. It is the transferral and understanding of meaning. 

Good communication is a key productivity driver and should occur across the three levels of an organisation – individual, team and organisational. 

Communication can be: 

  • Verbal (Face to face, telephone) 
  • Written (Documents, memos, emails, text messages, social media, signs) 
  • Non-Verbal (Body language, posture, facial expressions, gestures, contact) 
  • Communication is 10% the words we use, 20% the tone, tempo, or volume and 70% visual and physical. 

A Good Culture Of Communication May Have

Individual Team Organisational
Clear expectations (everyone knows what is expected of them and by when)

People thinking clearly before they speak (or text or email)

Using "I statements" Assertive not aggressive or passive behaviour Appropriately given feedback:
  • address the issue, not the person
  • explain why it is a problem
  • work collaboratively to find a solution
Discussions - not just one person taking over but others feel empowered to speak up so creative and innovative ideas are heard

Engagement such as staff newsletters (messages from CEO, staff profiles, information about what is happening and how the business is tracking) or regular staff meetings (combined with social activities such breakfast, lunch, Friday night drinks)

Departmental "Expos" to show teams what each other is doing

Employees spending time in other departments learning what they do
Opportunities for all to be heard and have a voice

Modelling from the top down

High level of listening skills (including not using mobile phones during meetings)

Staff always prepared for meetings (send out papers in advance, strict adherence to start and finish times)

An organisational wide understanding that people come from different cultures and backgrounds and even if they speak English, it may not be their first language; appreciation of different learning styles

Seek first to understand, then to be understood

Communication and how you choose to flow communication through business has an impact on productivity.

Poor Workplace Communication Effects Productivity Through

  • Lack of direction and accountability
  • Poor motivation and morale
  • Increased absenteeism and staff turnover
  • Greater risk of unresolved conflicts
  • Greater incidence of injury
  • Risk of discrimination, bullying claims
  • Culture of silos and teams blaming each other
  • Inadequate, inappropriate performance management
  • Ineffective Change management
  • Unnecessarily difficult enterprise bargaining

Communication underpins everything we do. While there are many ways to communicate, there are also a few key tips to be aware of, that will help ensure effective communication is maintained across the three levels of any business. KEY PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

I know that you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant!
  • Clear and precise exchange of information
  • Open and non-judgmental
  • When giving feedback, focusing on the behaviour and why it is a problem, rather than focusing on the individual, allows for more effective feedback
  • Understanding the meaning behind the words
  • Clarify meaning to ensure the listener receives the right message
  • Two way interaction that involves both parties
  • Appropriate time and place
  • A good communicator thinks of their audience
  • Recognises verbal, non-verbal and vocal messages
  • Can be in writing
  • Uses appropriate language set at a level the receiver can understand
  • Involves negotiation, problem solving and supporting one another
  • Is on-going and messages maintain consistency
  • Keeps everyone informed and aware of what is happening
  • Uses positive body language and eye contact
  • Active listening without internal formulating of own response or pre-judgment

Barriers To Effective Communication

  • Long words, jargon
  • Past experiences and beliefs
  • Use of killer phrases.
  • Values and prejudices
  • Literacy and language differences
  • Socio-cultural factors
  • Arrogance or passiveness
  • Poor listening skills
  • Age, gender
  • Power, unequal status, intimidation
  • Noise
  • Poorly designed workplace layout
  • Poor ventilation
  • Extremes of temperature
  • Confined spaces
  • Difficult work processes

Effective Communication & “ Using "I" Statements

"I" Statements are a means of providing others with feedback, and your point of view.
"You" statements tend to make people feel judged and threatened and they react defensively.

The benefits of "I" Statements are:

  • They are straightforward and easy for your listener to understand.
  • The listener tends to consider rather than emote, reflect rather than feel.
  • They show you back yourself and your point of view.
  • They allow your message to come to the fore.
  • When you begin with 'I' people are less likely to become defensive.
  • They refer to specific behaviour and so the focus becomes improving the behaviour.


"When ..." (objection to behaviour that concerns/hurt/annoys/worries you)Non-judgmental description of behaviour:
  • Be specific
  • Focus on behaviour, not attitude
  • Do not make judgements - be objective
  • Be brief
  • Assert about real issue
"I feel..." (clear statement of your feelings)Disclosure of feelings:
  • Do not substitute one emotion for another
  • Do not use words laden with judgement
  • Be specific about the intensity of feeling
"Because..." (clear description of the tangible/concrete effect on you)
"And what I" (description of your wants/needs)

For example:


Effective Communication - Assertive versus Passive or Aggressive

Aggressive - I win-You lose Submissive - I lose-You win Assertive - I win-You win
  • Control
  • Punish, reward
  • Bulldoze
  • Explode
  • Manipulate
  • Entrenchment
  • It's the principle
  • Avoidance
  • Lumping it
  • Refuse to deal with own needs and concerns
  • Suppress
  • Surrender own needs
  • Share power
  • Unfold the opportunity
  • Seek agreement which is fair to all involved
  • Involve in resolution
  • My needs and your needs
  • Respect each other's needs

Effective Communication & Listening Skills

Listening skills
Make eye contact
Exhibit affirmative head nods and appropriate facial expressions
Avoid distracting actions or gestures
Ask clarifying questions - not too many
Avoid interrupting the speaker
Do not talk over
You need to want to be a good listener
Make smooth transitions between the roles of speaker and listener
Be non-evaluative
Paraphrase the presented content
Reflect the implications
Reflect the underlying feelings
Invite further contributions
Establish empathy with the speaker
The benefits
Builds relationshipsImproves confidenceAids learningIncreases understanding Helps solve problemsImproves negotiation skillsIncreases efficiency and productivity


The don'ts The do's
Interrupting the speaker
Not responding
Jumping to conclusions
Finishing other people's sentences
Allowing you to be distracted
Listen with your whole body
Remove barriers
Build rapport
Respond appropriately
Thinking about your reply

The 3R's of active listening are

1. Rapport building (mirroring)
2. Responding appropriately (Paraphrasing, showing empathy, clarifying)
3. Removing barriers