Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 15th 2017 Contents B16
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 15, 2017
SHARISSE HOSEIN MSC, MBA
This article will address the
importance of treating your em-
ployees, your internal customers
and clients/customers and your
external customers with mutual
Effective communication has
the benefit of winning us clients,
increasing sales, building a consen-
sus or creating a win-win situation
during negotiations. Communi-
cating can alleviate conflict, help
us to acknowledge each other's
feelings, thoughts and behaviour,
and highlight challenges. The best
part about being open and revealing
ourselves is that we can build trust,
and develop a more collaborative
culture within the organization.
However internal communica-
tion is often neglected, and one of
the consequences is poor customer
service. Poor work relationships
result in high levels of inefficiency
and poor use of time (such as re-
work and overwork). For instance,
decision-making, reporting and
raising awareness are left in the
hands of managers in some coun-
tries, but in Trinidad, the working
culture is different. According to
Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions,
'Power is decentralized and man-
agers count on the experience of
their team members. Employees
expect to be consulted. Control
is disliked and attitude towards
managers are informal.'
With low power distance, com-
munication is crucial to maintain-
ing respect and building trust.
The culture of the organization is
governed by communication, and
it is ab-so-lute-ly necessary that
these few principles are followed.
1. Communication must be clear,
correct and courteous, so that
it aids mutual understanding,
proactive behaviour and prob-
2. Maintain transparency and
accountability throughout the
organization, using manuals
and points of reference (staff
members, vision statements)
for smooth operations.
3. Ensure that communication is
two-way, with more listening
and concise feedback.
4. Use written communication be-
fore it gets complicated.
Communication can be distorted
due to barriers such as poor listen-
ing, selective listening, poor com-
prehension skills. In this case, clar-
ity is crucial.
Barriers to effective communi-
cation can stem from fear of au-
thority, too many grey areas, poor
leadership, nervousness when be-
ing confronted, or speaking out in
On the other hand, inability
to maintain focus, differences in
learning or even cultural differenc-
es can cause a delay in responses.
Clarity is most important when
speaking to people with diverse
or different needs. Our natural
inclination to assume may create
Here are some general tips for
1. Understand employees' commu-
nication styles versus what the
2. Set a standard with vision and
mission statements to reinforce
3. Use design to encourage a col-
laboration and open communi-
4. Check in with staff.
5. Have frequent brief meetings,
as opposed to lengthy and/or
6. Stick to an agenda, and set it
before the meeting.
7. Use a checklist.
8. Take breaks between meetings.
9. Take minutes and email to all
10. Use notice boards for memos,
and use team huddles for Q&As.
Tips for effective communication:
1. Maintain eye contact.
2. Smile and use humour appro-
3. Engage listeners with practical
4. Use direct language.
5. Maintain an assertive tone.
6. Listen with your eyes and lean
forward for engagement.
7. Nod for acknowledgement and
ask questions during pauses.
8. Be concise and get to the point
without beating around the
9. Be conscious of listener's atten-
10. Stick to one point and finish before
Effective communication can help us
to manage office dynamics, including
building relations, managing conflict,
negotiating, marketing and selling as
well as collaborating on projects.
If you would like to become a more
effective communicator to improve
your employee relations or maintain
customer loyalty, you can contact me
for more information on workshops,
and one to one coaching.
Sharisse Hosein MSc, MBA
Consultant Business Psycholo-
121 Long Circular Road, Maraval
Communicate before you Complicate
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