So what is effective communication? Today, it is a buzz-word thrown out in the open. If you google “effective communication” you are met with a world full of articles, books, and companies dedicated to all sorts of communication. Communication is simple yet complex, easy to do and easy not to do. It is a term easy to brush off and we like to assume that we are communicating effectively to others. However, this is not the case. This is evident in the amount of discrepencies in the received PR Forms and Initiation dues, the Spring Membership Report and the complaints afterwards when the risk management assessment is charged, the e-mail that never went out to re-schedule a meeting, or the phone call to the “B” that the “A” cannot make it to the meeting.
The next logical question is, how do I effectively communicate? Communication in this day and age is fast and always available. E-mail, text messaging, and even Facebook are main ways people are communicating with each other today. Although these forms of communication are easy and convenient, they are also very easily ignored by members and often are not solid forms of meaningful communication. A few ways of communication that have lost its importance is a phone call and even direct contact.
A simple phone call can go a long way. Receiving the necessary information in a quick 5-minute phone call can be valuable. A phone call also places the subject matter at a priority and will more likely to receive a reply back. The phone also goes both ways. Do not assume someone will call! Be proactive and make the initial contact if information needs to be sent or collected. This is a soft skill that will only beneﬁt you in the corporate world.
Direct communication is also a skill that has been inexplicably lost. It seems as though directly going up to someone and explaining what is happening or requesting information is not done. The world of internet, Google, and websites have taken over this. However, nothing takes the place of human-to-human contact.
Asking the right questions is also key to making sure you receive the information needed. Instead of asking broad questions which makes it difﬁcult for the person to understand what you need, ask open-ended questions. Some examples of questions to ask can be; What are we going to do? How are we going to do that? How am I going to know that you did that? The last question is the most important because it assumes that you will keep the person accountable for their actions. So, when asking the “D” for a list of active, inactive, and alumnus members according to his records is reasonable. To ensure, you receive them in a timely manner, ask when you will receive the list by. If the time comes and goes, you can directly communicate with him to ask why he has not given you a list. This accountability is essential to effective communication and establish a strong precedent that your duties are just as important as his.
This not only applies at the chapter level but can also assist in every facet of your life. Making sure you are constantly communicating with your professors, headquarters, or your employer can earn some incentives over time. Communication makes feel people comfortable and does not make them feel as though you are hiding anything. If you communicate your needs, wants, concerns, or problems it may result in an extension of a due date for a paper you are struggling with, a waived from headquarters, or a few extra hours off work to get personal things done. Many people appreciate communication and knowing what is going on. By not communicating the feelings of mistrust, apathy, and disconcern grow and can ruin an established relationship.
The position of “C” is one in which can take you above and beyond. Sharpening the skills of communication is an important advantage that other positions do not have. Just like your fraternal experience, securing the position of “C” is what you make of it. If you put in the work, you will receive both tangible and intangible rewards that can only beneﬁt your future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]