Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Communication Skills for Policy Change
In order to lead policy change, one must embody these communication skills: clear and concise and a listener. When a policy maker is clear and concise they paint a picture to listeners (Mind Tools, n.d.) explaining their cause in order community members and lawmakers can understand. However, even though an advocate may be enthusiastic and could talk about their cause for hours, one must be aware of how much information is share and keep communication concise. When a person communicates effectively, they stick to the point and keep it brief. As an agent for social change, it is imperative that you share important points with community members and lawmakers but also give them an opportunity to determine the next steps in solving the problem (Mind Tools, n.d.).
The second characteristic, one must embody is a listener. A listener understands how the speaker feels about what they are communicating. A listener makes the speaker feel heard and understood and clarify information when unsure of the message (Helpguide, n.d.). Communication is two-way. If a person does not take the time to actively listen, they will not be certain if their message was heard correctly nor will they be certain that the speaker's actions to the cause will be appropriate. Without a clear and concise communication and active listening, one can express how they are feeling. These skills are necessary
Recently, I took a Communication Anxiety test which determined that I have mild anxiety in which I feel bit uneasy in some communication situations and confident in others (Laureate Education, 2011). Depending on my audience and familiarity with the subject, my anxiety will either increase or decrease. When my anxiety increases, the message is not as clear and I tend to ramble on which effects my articulation causing me to mumble and not express thoughts accurately . As a listener, I have a tendency to not focus on the speaker. Rather, I am on the computer checking emails, sending a text, or driving. Multi-tasking skews the speaker's information and does not place value on their words and ideas. I need to work on attending to the speaker whether in person or on the phone personally and professionally.
Helpguide.org. (n.d.). Effective communication. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/effective_communication_skills.htm
Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Communication anxiety [Interactive media]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Mind Tools. (n.d.). The 7 Cs of communication: A checklist for clear communication. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_85.htm