April 1998 Web Brief
Learning to be Successful

Quote of the month: "Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later." Og Mandino

Being a Great Communicator
Source: Communication Briefings ideas that work

Some estimates say that 85% of business success depends on effective communication. In Nido R. Qubein’s How to be a Successful Communicator, you’ll find lots of ideas that will help you and your organization at or above the 85% mark. Some of Qubein’s quotes:

  • Choose short and strong Anglo-Saxon terms over the scholarly and lofty Latin. Examples: think, talk and work with your hands versus cogitate, converse and perform manual labor.
  • Don’t overlook the power of letters to employees’ home. Reasons: They get them when they’ll likely have more time to digest them. And it makes it easier for them to share information with their families. This approach works especially well with letters of praise.
  • Know the difference between giving instruction and giving information. The first limits employee response. The second expands it. Moral: Top-down communication should empower, not control.
  • Get your points across with assertive but polite "I" messages, not commands. Example: Say, "I would like you to make these changes in the letter," not, "You must make these changes in the letter."
  • Encourage employee feedback by allowing them to suggest improvements and ask questions anonymously. Reason: This frees them from the restraints that go with more open forms of communication. To let them know you’re reading their suggestions, respond through a regular column in your in-house publication or by e-mail.
  • Respond to others’ ideas with "igniter," not "squelcher" phrases. Examples: "That’s great. How can we do it?" not "We’ve never done it that way." "How can I help you?" not, "Why start anything now?"
  • Try this to get meeting "clams" to open up: Poise a marker over a blank flip chart and ask, "Who would like to start?" The blank page will work like a vacuum waiting to be filled. Note: "Clams" may fear taking part less if your back is turned to the group when you do this.
  • Answer these questions to help determine if you’ll be communicating with the right audience when you want to persuade others to support you: "What do you want to do?" "Who can help you get it done?" "Who would want to help you get it done?" "Why should an audience listen to you?" "How accessible is this audience?"

Source: How to be a Great Communicator, Nido R. Qubein, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 605 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10158