What does communication success mean to you?

browningyork Communication audiences, Communication lessons, Communication measurement, General communication

Following on from last week’s blog, when I shared my thoughts on what makes communication successful, I decided to ask others what successful communication means to them. I posed the question in a couple of Facebook groups I am part of and this blog shares the answers I received.
An image that has these words - Successful communication = effective* communication *Where effectiveness is the achievement of a desired outcome, such as attendance at an event or changes in behaviour
I was struck by the similarities in the responses, having set out to test the theory that success means something different to us all. It seems that in communication terms, that isn’t necessarily true.

Do these suggestions strike a chord with you? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Shared understanding

  • “Being heard and hearing”
  • “Communication to me is two way. Listening as well as talking. Making sure people understand”
  • “I’d say that it’s about both parties feeling that things are ‘fair’, in that they can both say what they need to say and be fully heard.”
  • “To convey the message effectively.”
  • “Communication (or rather, effective communication!) is expressing an idea/thought/plan/problem/solution/anything in a way which other people can understand. Getting everyone on the same page, essentially”

  • Desired outcomes

  • “To me (at work) it means people understood and could accurately relay the information I wanted to communicate to them”
  • “Communication success is getting the desired outcome. Do people actually behave how you wanted them to behave?”
  • “I’d say the influence (senior place at the table, secured budgets and resources, executive commitment etc) will only happen when communication provides a direct impact on the bottom line. That might be sales figures, it might be productivity rate, it might be speed of change / implementation, it might be engagement.”
  • “The most powerful thing in publishing or posting on social media is the eye grabbing title”
  • “I’d say having a measurable goal for the communication and then measuring that you’ve achieved it. 99% of having a goal with any chance of success is listening first.”

  • It’s not about you, it’s about them

  • “There is something about me presenting it in a way I can reasonably expect them to consume and them being open to it (for example me not writing an overly long email, them not deleting it without opening it)”
  • “For me communication is done in different ways to suit the person/people I’m with and depends on if I have an instrument in my hands as to if it’s verbal or musical or both!”
  • “Communication isn’t effective unless what you want to say has ‘landed’ with the other person.”

  • Trust and relationships

  • “To me, a big part of successful communication is establishing that there is mutual respect between you. You cannot communicate anything (and you certainly can’t take non-verbal cues as to whether your message is being heard correctly) unless you approach each other openly and as equals”
  • “Clarity. To the point. Honest. Say it as it is”
  • “That you understand each other’s expectations/needs really clearly and also where the person is coming from (which is often underlying feelings): that they think / want / need X because they feel / hope for / fear Y. Things are less likely to blow up if you know people’s motivations as well as the facts.”

  • And one of my friends has clearly been paying more attention to me over the years than I realised:

    “Good communication is when the recipient catches the ball…..”

    Or maybe I’ve shared my analogy of effective communication being like playing a game of catch one too many times over dinner!

    If you would like help with increasing the success of your organisation’s communications, get in touch for a chat about how we could work together.

    Until next time
    Sarah