Starting his journey, Steven Jones pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Bio Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. He further continued his education acquiring a Masters and PhD in the field as well. Having many years of experience teaching at several schools, I asked him how important he thinks communication is in the work field? Steve replied, “You can’t do anything without it. Everything is about collaborating with people when you want to get things done.”
The Importance of Communication
Communication has always been a vital factor and a key part in leading any successful work environment. In his career, Steve is constantly communicating with his faculty members and students through emails, proposals, reports, handouts and meetings. Steve communicates with students on a daily basis by grading senior design projects, writing handouts, writing emails, and giving hours of lectures. “Weekly faculty meetings to discuss critical issues and job related proposals is a must” Steve said. He also said, “You communicate orally minute by minute, and writing is permanent.”
Clarity in Communication is Critical
Communication whether in writing or face-to-face conversation is important, but can also be hectic. In almost all cases, if people misunderstood you they are going to ignore you. Also, if your writing isn’t clear, people may be confused and unsure what you are trying to communicate. Steve said, “Communication is very important, but being clear and to the point while communicating is even far more important”. We always have to find the right words at the right time when communicating with colleagues, co-workers, or our managers. Sometimes, people think they know what you are trying to say, however, they don’t fully understand . Steve said “Preconceived ideas about what you want to say is a big issue.” Most of us know that emails are the simplest and most frequent way of communication, but they also need to be written clearly and efficiently, especially when you are talking to a broad audience.
Traits That Help You Communicate Efficiently
Every one of us, whether in the workplace or at home with family is trying to communicate to the best of our abilities. Whether it is to finish work that has been left behind, or to have a decent conversation with family about various aspects of life, we all strive for the acceptance of others. We strive to be respected and treated with kindness. To gain this acceptance and respect, we must first be effective communicators. Steve said, “Being conscious about what you are trying to say, and your attitude toward the thing that is being communicated is the key to success in communication.” We often try and communicate, but sometimes fail because we are not simple and to the point. Steve mentioned, “When communicating, consciousness is key; but also, a sense of humor just enough to keep your attention is a wonderful thing” People seem to get bored sometimes when communicating with others, but being conscious with a little bit of humor keeps the conversation alive and to the point. Communication also must be prepared and planned so it doesn’t become a waste of time. Steve said “Organize, so it’s not a waste of time, plan carefully, and supplementary, so your material is carefully put together.” In the preparation period, Steve stated “Try always to achieve the maximum volume of information with the least amount of words.” I learned from Steve that communication is more about being precise and not being messy. Communication is about using structure to introduce a concept, and about using the right words to talk about the concept efficiently and effectively.
Without communication, things can become confusing, frustrating, and inefficient. Important work can be delayed or ignored. Communicate efficiently so you can get things done. Plan carefully and consciously to avoid wasting your time or the time of others. Communicate in a simple way that is easy for others to understand. Be precise, but humorous so communication doesn’t get boring. Be selective with your words and show respect and sincerity to your colleagues so that the work environment becomes effective and successful. Steve said, “Decent vocabulary, and using it in appropriate ways, along with expressing your care to the subject, will always lead to successful communication.”
Yousef Aledrisi, Guest Blogger