Friday, July 31, 2009

Analyst Skills: Successful Communication

The Ten Commandments of Good Communication

The American Management Association published the following Ten Commandments of Good Communication. If you put these commandments together with your basic understanding of the communication process itself, you will have a good foundation for building and maintaining an effective set of interpersonal communication skills. The ten commandments of good communication are:

  • Clarify your ideas before communicating. Good communication requires good planning. Think through the message and consider who will be receiving and/or affected by it.
  • Examine the true purpose of each communication. Ask yourself what you really want to accomplish—obtain information, initiate action, or influence someone’s behavior. Then prepare your message around the objective.
  • Consider the total physical and human setting. Meaning and intent are conveyed by more than words. Take into account not only what is to be said, but also the timing, physical setting, and social climate involved.
  • Consult with others in planning communications. Allowing others to participate in planning and developing facts can yield useful insights. Those who have helped you plan also have ownership.
  • Be aware of the overtones as well as the basic content of your message. Your tone of voice, expression, body language, and apparent receptivity to the receiver have a tremendous impact on those you wish to reach.
  • Take every opportunity to communicate something of help or value to the receiver. Get in the habit of looking at things from the other person’s point of view. People respond best to managers whose messages take their interests into account.
  • Follow up your communication. Ask questions and encourage questions to learn if you have succeeded in expressing your true meaning and intentions. Allow for good feedback in all communications.
  • Communicate for tomorrow as well as today. Plan communications to serve immediate needs as well as long-run interests and goals. Remember that postponing disagreeable communications makes them more difficult.
  • Be sure your actions support your words. The most persuasive communication is not what you say but what you do. Don’t let actions contradict your words.
  • Be a good listener. When we start talking, we often cease to listen. Listening demands that you concentrate on what is being said, and recognize overtones as well as context.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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