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From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Tips for Effective Communication by Mikal Powers

Whether you are in the working world or in college, today’s technology, email, smart phones, tablets and a myriad of social media channels—make it easy to stay connected 24 hours a day. But staying connected can sometimes pose challenges when it comes to effective communications. Lost is the ability to experience first-hand a person’s body language and tone in the collaboration process, while the use of 140 characters and texting gives “lost in translation” a whole new meaning.

Some may wonder if electronic communications, designed to help us, is actually creating barriers to successful collaboration and communication. A recent survey from University of Phoenix found 35 percent of working adults think that emails, instant messaging and other electronic communications have reduced their opportunity for face-to-face interaction with co-workers.

Whether in a team environment or one-on-one collaboration, a business setting or as part of an education learning team, it is important to remember how you communicate can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to communicate effectively:

Be as clear and concise as possible when communicating. To be productive in meetings, start off with the most important point at the beginning of any meeting to make sure everyone walks away with a consensus on next steps and help align mutual focus.

Take the effort to make business conversation personal to the point that what you are saying relates to the person. If one can make a personal connection to a business topic, then they are more likely to invest more thought and effort into the desired outcome.

Lastly, feedback – both positive and negative – is important. It’s also important to remember that in both the classroom and business setting, nobody should be afraid of negative, or constructive, feedback. Feedback is meant to help improve the outcome of a situation.

With all that being said, communication is important. Having an open mind and being willing to put in the extra effort to ensure everyone is on the same page can greatly impact success overall. Spending the extra time to ensure that nothing gets “lost in translation” will benefit the future outcome of most situations, and can yield higher team efficiency and productivity overall.