Why effective communication matter?

Have you ever felt that it is difficult to pass your message to others? Have you ever felt that some people do not understand you? Feel restless when you talking to some people?

It is all about effective communication. Understand and practice below and you will be amaze how powerful it is. At least I did.

For the communication to be affected it should be a two-way conversation, well we all know that. You must prepare, structure the content, and adhere to correct body language. However, can we use the same tone, body language to every one we know and for every situation? Of course not.

Different parts of business have their own language and focus. For example, language the technical team is using may not be understand by the top management unless they are technical too. In addition, the level of information one need to know is different from person to person according to their position in the team.

Example situation:

There is an issue when the users login to the application from checkout cart page.

How above will communicated after investigating the root cause.

Development team reports back There is an issue in the A&E library where when we call the login object from the checkout class a timeout happens. This can be due to the latest refactoring we have done.
Testing team to Project management There is a high priority blocking issue in live where users cannot login from the checkout page.
Project management to Top management The login from the checkout page is currently unavailable and this will affect only the users who require to login from Checkout page. Customer services and sales teams are aware of a workaround. Fix to be deployed within x number of days.

 

Not all want to know the detailed technical explanation – not every time. There can be situations where technical explanation is the only way to describe the solution. Again, the explanations should tailored to the audience. It is just because you are excited about a certain technology/solution that does not mean you can tell everything to the audience. You have to think what their backgrounds are, what do they need to know to take decisions, how much detail you want to give to keep their attention.

I was in many meetings with business where tech team start to discuss the solution in technical level rather than in a language/context known to the business. Moreover, they try very hard to focus and then they reach out their phone, or start write down something or read their mail or excuse themselves and leave. There are number of times I have jumped in between such conversations and ask them to take that conversation outside the meeting – well in a polite way. There were times they agree and there were time they just ignore me. Every time they ignore me, they lose valuable time to confirm requirements with the business as they are continue to focus on the solution.

As a tester communicate effectively is very important to me. In current project, I have a positive relationship with the editorial, sales and customer services teams. I deliver both good and bad news to them over the site and I need to make sure those teams understand the issue but not overwhelm them. Again, within those teams the level of information they need to know is different as well. Customer services and Sales teams needs to know how to explain the issue to the customer, work around if possible and/or when is the delivery date. Therefore, before I go to each team I need to structure my message tailored to them. Use their language. Ask them whether they understood the issue or the new feature. Repeat some words if they need more emphasis.

With words, body language and tone of voice comes in. There are some tips on https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/Body_Language.htm. Learn them, observe them on others and practice them.

If you are listening to someone who is talking in same tone, will that person able to keep your interest over what he/she has to say? Same rule apply when you talk to someone else as well. Use pauses, tone variations according to the message.

Be mindful about both positive and negative traits you use when communicate. Observe how successful people use their words, body language and tone of voice. Observe how your colleagues communicate. Practice the positive traits and try move away from the negative traits. Start slow, see what is successful for you, and enjoy your progress…

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