If you think you’re a good communicator consider for a moment what this really means.
The dictionary defines communications as:
- The act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.
- Imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions or information by speech, writing or signs.
- Something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted.
- A document or message imparting news, views, information, etc.
- Passage, or an opportunity or means of passage, between places.
So we all communicate but are we being understood and is our message getting across correctly?
In the workplace it is essential that our message is clearly understood but how do we know?
There are many reasons why a colleague may not be receiving and our understanding us:-
Maybe they are distracted or simply not focused – thinking about what they need to do rather than what we are saying. It could even be as simple as the person has difficulty hearing and is too polite to tell you.
But an area I’d like to focus on is where the communication fails due to a poor grasp of the language or an accent that is so strong that words are difficult to differentiate.
As immigration increases and we have more people coming into the workforce who are not native English speakers it is becoming a huge issue for these people when they are looking for work.
In many cases their qualifications and experience are more than adequate to perform the work but their speaking and communication skills let them down. Nearly every job advertised includes the skills “Strong verbal and written communication”. The job seeker may feel they have this skill covered as they often have a university degree and have held senior positions in the land of their birth but when they are invited in for an interview the interviewer has so much difficulty in understanding their responses that they are rejected.
According to The Vacancy Centre – a resource library for candidates:-
“Meaning is in the mind of the receiver and not in the message. The way you speak may have a lasting impression on your interviewers.
Avoiding your own special words and jargon should make communicating with the interviewers a lot clearer.
When you are applying for a job where you are required to meet the public, your speech must be clear and understood by the people you have to communicate with.
Some basic factors in verbal communication are:
- Speak clearly
- Slow down, if necessary
- Ensure that your pronunciation is correct
If you are applying for a job overseas or if the interview is conducted in a foreign language, you will need to pay extra attention to preparation. One way to hear how you come cross to others is to listen to yourself on a tape recorder.