Communicating effectively your vision, your plans, and your expectations is crucial for success. If you think saying it once or twice is sufficient, you haven’t done your job.

It’s important to remember that every communication receiver is asking themselves “What do you want me to do?” and “What’s in it for me?”

Here are 10 best practices in communication:

(as posted by Evelyn Jenkinson,Director, Employee CommunicationsatWestern Connecticut Health Network)

  1. Know your audience. Understand their attention span, communication preferences and vehicles, interests and needs.
  2. No news is NOT good news. Staff will fill in the blanks. The rumor mill will kick into full gear. Anxiety will set in. Keep the information flow open and constant.
  3. Keep the noise down. Keep it simple and straightforward. Lose the jargon and ambiguity. Be specific and to the point.
  4. Use the right communication vehicle. In person, email, meeting, phone, text, one-on-one, hallway conversation, memos, presentations.
  5. Looks do count. Be clear, concise, make it eye-catching, pithy, distinctive, conversational, professional, and maybe humorous.
  6. Print is NOT dead. Use it for in-depth information, future reference, personal, or recognition. Print has its place.
  7. Show and Tell. Illustrate concepts, simplify the complex, provide something memorable.
  8. Repeat, repeat again. Redundancy is required for retention. Use multiple channels for critical messages. One and done does NOT work in communication.
  9. Develop a two-way street of communication. Look for confirmation, feedback, and improved communication.
  10. Pay attention to tone and non-verbal queues you send. Facial expressions, eye contact, tone convey messages you may not want. Even email can send non-verbal messages with tone and who you cc on the message.

How are you doing in communication best practices?