Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Than Just A Talk

Communication is the creation or exchange of thoughts, ideas, emotions, and understanding between sender(s) and receiver(s). It is essential whether to build or to maintain bonding or relationship.

Effective communication skills are truly important, be it as simple as in a conversation between two people or complex as in a team, institutions, or even community. It is indeed a backbone for the basic functions many things, more significantly for management.

I've been wondering hard how would I discuss this, so instead of making a set of lecture or a long article, I chose to make one case to be discussed based on the specific skills as the importance of communication skills in the identification of problems, making analysis, and planning for required action depends on the function itself.

Now, hold my hand; let’s put ourselves as one team. (Yes, you n me and our few other imaginary team members..) We were given Rp 20millions by UGM Red Cross Organization to manage logistics aid to Desa XXX in conjunction to Merapi eruption.

The very main principle in this case is for each individual to bring themselves practicing "assertive" style of communication of which there are 4 types of communication style:

AGGRESSIVE
You win and everyone else loses
PASSIVE
You lose and everyone else wins
PASSIVE- AGGRESSIVE
You lose and you do everything you can to make others loses too
ASSERTIVE
Everyone wins

Communication skill 1: Ability to make a good ice breaking and introduction

This may be the first time we met. Come on, introduce ourselves to one another~ Let say we already know each other, hence a warm greeting would be very nice:)

Then we can start to dip our toe into our main purpose. Everyone have to list down what's the necessities actually are. Give opportunity to each other to convey ideas and explanations based on individual's perspectives. Avoid misunderstandings or even debate on matters not in line to everyone's satisfaction. Everyone has to be open and ready to give and to accept comments: positive or negative.

Communication skill 2: Ability to convey the goals and objectives

Together we defining our goals and objectives or what we are trying to achieve. Everyone must cooperate and must not be too ignorance yet too persuasive for their opinions to be accepted by all. We must remember that goals and objectives should be specific, realistic and listed in order of importance.

Communication skill 3: Ability to be cooperative and responsive

1. To our team members. 2. To our UGM Red Cross Organization 3. To the community of Desa XXX. You see, to only acknowledged that the people of desa XXX is our target beneficiaries is not enough. We have to get to know them better: their condition, the people, the place so we can plan the best actions for them. In this case, everyone has the responsibility to do research about what will be provided in the logistics we are going to deliver. 

Communication skill 4: Ability to be understanding

There are many, but I take one very typical problem occurring when a team/ group/ institutions/ community held a meeting or something: TIME MANAGEMENT. You see, a good timing is somehow what makes a good discussion useful. Too short won't help much for people to digest the topics being brought on, but too long won't help to make people give full attention to. Everyone must know or at least attempt to know what the priorities actually are. Remember that everyone has their own thing- to do- list. Be tolerable:)

Communication skill 5: Ability to do essential evaluation

It's like a rolling procedure to end our discussion. We go thoroughly checking had we list out the correct problems? Had we make a good analysis? Had we provide a good plan? And we also evaluate ourselves. Everyone must ready to improve especially if there's any flaws in the midst of the conversations. Problems identifications are done. Analysis had been made. Plans are listed. Now we can work on the actions:)

The fundamental of these measurements are based on the key aspects of GOOD CLINICAL PERFORMANCE in accordance to the concept of "Systematic Working & Systematic Thinking":

"The right things are done (correct problems being identified) in the right way (correct analysis) at the right time for the right person (the organization, team members, community), by the right people with right behavior (good and effective communication skills)".

***

Well.. We're done with the teamwork imaginary role- playing. Thank you for reading my rigmarole till here, though:)  These are just a very few examples I can put here, and I'm sure there are many more good communication skills within those. All of all, I believe the values of good and effective communication skills explains well upon it importance. In any situation, good and effective communication skills are like a battery to a clock. That's what make it works~

References:
  • "Communication in Working Place", Guest lecture: Panti Rapih Hospital
  • "Interpersonal Communication and Advocacy", Practical Session (Public Health)

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