Excellent communication skills are one of the most important aspects of effectiveness in the event industry. Although the ability to communicate effectively requires time and practice, it is one of the most useful features in the field of effective event management. What exactly is “communication”? Basically, it is an act of transferring information from one person to another. Its medium can be words – so-called verbal communication (face-to-face, conversation by phone, written message, i.e.: letter, email, SMS). We are also using non-verbal communication – gestures, images, sounds or any other signals. In this post, we are going to talk about verbal communication.
In theory, the words spoken by us (the sender) are a message that should be sent to the recipient unchanged. In practice, however, there is something that linguists call “communication noise” – information that the sender wants to convey may be distorted or disturbed. The information noise can cause the that the message we send is received but not as we expected.
So how to communicate effectively, then?
Use the proper channels to communicate
There is more than one person usually acting in the process of planning and organizing events, which means that it is necessary to effectively communicate with each of them.
Choosing the right communication channel gives you a chance to evaluate the interpretative possibilities of your interlocutor. Thanks to this you will be able to adjust the best form of communication. For example, you shouldn’t send an SMS with a task order to the novice volunteer: there is a great chance he won’t fully understand what he should do. In those situations, where a full understanding between the sender and the recipient of the message is highly important, there is no better channel than direct contact with the recipient – you can then observe his reactions to the messages and react directly to them.
Limit the communication noise
Communication noise can unbelievably distort information, so it’s worth remembering it and being able to recognize threats. If we talk to someone over the phone, and behind us lawn mower is roaring, we are dealing with external noise – the simplest to eliminate.
Another type of noise appears during communication with the so-called difficult interlocutor – with an overconfident, negatively minded, tired or distracted persons. Such persons impose a certain filter (referred to as “internal noise” or “psychological noise”) on the received message, which significantly hampers communication.
We should also remember about other types of noise – a specific language of the event organizers. This kind of slang may not be understandable to everyone, especially to new team members and can cause more difficulties or – what’s even worse – create space for free interpretation.
If you can, avoid texting
SMS message, although tempting with its simplicity, carries a lot of communicating threats. It is difficult for it to fully reflect the intention of a message wider than specific information, such as the date and place of a conference or workshop. In the case of more complex messages, it is worth reaching for the telephone and e-mail. You will lower the probability of information distortion this way. Particularly important is the conversation, whether it is face-to-face or via telephone – it adds a personal touch that can’t be obtained with text.
Use the phone
Don’t forget about the power of a traditional telephone conversation – although the phone call is sometimes replaced by text messages, telephone contact is still the fastest real-time communication channel. An ordinary phone can be a powerful tool that helps you get the information you need quickly.
Write e-mails wisely
An e-mail is a crucial part of modern reality. These days, it seems that without the possibility of e-mailing, the world would collapse, especially the business part of it. However, it is worth remembering that in this communication channel there are dangers that disrupt information. To avoid them, remember to provide all relevant data, stick to a concise form and don’t repeat information. Try not to overload your colleague’s mailboxes – sending many e-mails not only wastes valuable time, but can also be the main cause of misunderstanding, because information can be “buried” under the pile of others, also it can easily be overlooked. Send the messages only to its actual recipients!
Keep meeting with others
Certainly, we don’t mean many hours sittings – which are known to many of us. Try to meet with your team on the short specific meetings. Stick to the plan of it, but also provide the space for building interpersonal relations. The better you know your team, the easier it is to eliminate communication noise. Face-to-face communication is also invaluable in a conflict situation in a team – thanks to it, it becomes possible to find a quick resolution.
Remember that the responsibility for the quality of communication translates into cooperation within a team. So it is important to make sure that your message: firstly – reached the recipient, and secondly – was understood in accordance with your intention. Instead of assuming that “you know what’s going on”, it’s better to be sure – discovering that you have been misunderstood, you have a chance to make a correction in communication.
Communication is always the key to success in any situation where interpersonal interactions are the basis. Event planning (and organizing the events itself) can be a very stressful job involving many activities and interactions at the same time. Effective communication with the team can greatly facilitate this work. Planning and organizing events are associated with tight deadlines and time constraints, so productivity is of the utmost importance. It is worth remembering that team member given clearly formulated tasks will work more productively than those who are wandering in the mist of obscure expectations.