The Five G's of Effective Communication

April 27 2010

I had the great pleasure of hearing Kathleen Oliver, COO of Oliver Winery speak at a professional development workshop recently. In her position at the winery, Kathleen manages the retail operation of the business, oversees the activities of the tasting room, special events, and human resources so she communicates with a very large staff daily.

Kathleen offered these five tips for effective communication that I believe are universal to us all.

1. Get to the point.

Communicating your point effectively and efficiently is essential in a professional setting. In a business where time is money, getting to the point can make or break a deal. Be sure to stay on track and avoid tangents and rambling. Stay focused, and relay your message with clarity and confidence.

2. Get to know others.

With a large staff it’s easy to lose faces in the crowd and not address people by name. Make a point to get to know people within your department and beyond in your organization. Try and address people personally and learn about others so you can have meaningful interactions. Develop a system to remember names. Kathleen uses photos of her employees on a bulletin board in her office so she can call each of them by name.

3. Get along.

Follow the Golden Rule and treat others as you wish to be treated. It’s that simple and applies to everybody at all levels within an organization.

4. Get off the computer and get on the phone.

In this technology driven era it’s easy to rely on email as the only way to communicate. Especially in a client driven business, pick up the phone and make a personal connection. You may remember the old AT&T slogan “Reach out and touch someone.” It’s important to make that call when you can and whenever possible, an in-person meeting is best.

5. Get out of the office.

Be involved in your community and become an ambassador for your organization. Kathleen encourages her staff to volunteer and build their personal and professional relationships beyond the workplace. It’s good for the individuals and ultimately, it’s good for the company.

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