Join Brenda Bailey-Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video The purpose of your communication and beginning the communication action plan, part of Organization Communication.
- As we move through the course, you can create a communication action plan which will help you apply all the things we're talking about to a real situation that you're facing. The action plan will help you understand and remember our seven key questions, and it will help you prepare for something that's on your to-do list anyway. Let's get started by opening the exercise file titled "Communication Action Plan." Describe a current project or initiative you're a part of that will require communicating with others.
I'm redesigning the curriculum for a required course at the university where I teach, and that could be my focus. Maybe you're on a technical team that will present a recommendation to management next month. Or perhaps you'd like to get your entire department to socialize more to build team relationships. Any project that involves other people and is important to you will be a good one for you to work with. We'll return to this action plan after each chapter, so by the end of the course you'll have your communication strategy ready to go.
We begin our plan by thinking through our communicative purpose. For example, as a result of this course, I hope you will have a deep understanding of organizational communication. I hope you will ask those seven key questions regularly. I hope you and I become a part of one another's professional network. My hopes demonstrate the three primary reasons we communicate in the workplace: To inform, to influence, and to build relationships.
Influence is the most common reason we communicate at work. We want people to meet a deadline, take action, send us information, share ideas. But even when your message is intended to inform, like this course, there's often an action you expect as a result of that information. I may be informing you of the seven key questions in this course, but I want you to actually use the seven questions as well.
Some communication is for the purpose of relationship building. We chat with people to get to know them, to build trust, to have fun. All of which improve the climate of the workplace. Your intent may be simple. Something like get a colleague to stop leaving moldy food in the refrigerator. Or your intent may be complex. Create a corporate climate where employees embrace change. Regardless of your intention, always begin your communication efforts by determining your purpose.
Let's add your intended purpose to your communication plan now. If everything turned out perfectly in your project, what would people know or do or feel that they don't right now? That's your ideal outcome or your purpose. Whenever you communicate about your project, keep that purpose in mind.
- Who is the receiver of the message?
- Who would be the best sender?
- What is the focus of the message?
- How will it be interpreted?
- Is feedback necessary?
- What is the best channel?
- What is the context for the message?
- Identify the seven communication questions one should ask before every communication event.
- Explore potential sources of miscommunication.
- Recall the differences between an audience-tailored message and a generic message.
- Identify the most opportune time to use a communication flow diagram.
- Explore the potential pitfalls of soliciting feedback.
Along the way, Brenda shows how these key questions apply to four real-world scenarios at organizations of different sizes, locations, and functions. By the end of the course, you'll have the skills you need to improve the internal and external communication strategies at your company.