A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers identifies communication skills as the most sought quality in job candidates.((Joel Garfinkle: 9 Tips for Improving Your Communications Skills)) Many of the setbacks experienced on the path to success can be traced to the inability to communicate accurately and effectively.
It is, therefore, essential to set communication goals to boost your reputation, strengthen your relationships, and improve your work delivery.
This article is about how to set communication goals and what those goals should include.
What Are the Goals of Communication?
Whether it is personal or corporate communication, the primary essence of communication is to inform, influence, inspire, motivate, build relationships, learn, gain inspiration, promote yourself, and socialize.((1000 Ventures: 10 Main Goals of Communication)) Communication is also used for persuasion, negotiation, and improving work delivery.
To achieve the goals of communications mentioned above and make the most of your conversations, you can deliberately set your own communication goals. You can gear these goals towards improving or developing your verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills.
How to Write Communication Goals
1. Identify the Areas of Deficiency
Writing your communication goals begins with identifying your areas of deficiency in communication. To identify these areas, you have to evaluate your life and work, and ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the things that have drawn you back the most in your relationship with people or at work?
- What feedback do you get from friends and colleagues?
- What are the things you have been unable to achieve because of your perceived limitations in some areas of communication?
2. Define What You Want to Achieve
Now that you have identified your areas of deficiency, you need to define what you want to achieve. This would be how you want to fill the gaps that you have identified or how you want to develop yourself.
3. Outline the Goals
Outlining your communication goals involve writing out what you desire to achieve and to what extent you want to achieve them. It also includes when you intend to get results for your goals
4. Make Your Communication Goal SMART
The idea of making goals SMART is to make your goals feasible. A popular quote about setting goals states that “a goal properly set is halfway reached.”
Many goals that are not properly set end up as unfulfilled dreams. Therefore, you have to set your goals in Specific terms, with measurable objectives, writing out how they are achievable and relevant to your needs, and the timelines you hope to achieve them.
14 Examples of Communication Goals
1. Improve on Diction
One of the things that can make your communication effective is your diction. Diction has to do with your style of speaking or writing which is determined by your choice of words when conveying an idea or point of view.((Literary Devices: Diction))
Your choice of words should fit into the context in which they are used so that the listener or reader can easily understand the message you are passing across.
Master the appropriate use of words in communication contexts
2. Be More Engaging When Communicating
To be engaging is to be able to draw in a person (or an audience) with interesting content or conversation.((SPARKOL: Your view – what does it mean to be engaging?)) If you want your audience/recipient to commit attention when listening to you or reading from you, you have to devise ways to be engaging with your content.
Develop the set of skills required to keep an audience interested and engaged in a conversation
3. Become an Active Listener
There are two gates to the mind: the gate of the eyes, and the gate of the ear.
The key to comprehending what is being said is active listening. If there is a missing link when listening, some information may not be fully comprehended, leading to faulty feedback or response.
Create weekly sessions for active listening without any form of distraction
4. Manage Emotions
Giving or receiving information comes with lots of emotions such as excitement, sadness, shock, fear, surprise, anger, elation, depression, hurt, etc. The expression of emotions can make or mar effective communication. Great communicators learn to put emotions under control.
Practice putting emotions under control and respond to information based on what is best in facilitating mutual understanding and progress.
5. Become Relatable
Being relatable means keeping the lines of communication open so that people can be naturally drawn to you((Forbes: 4 Habits of Relatable Business Leaders That Will Help You Succeed)).
This is an essential social and work skill. You don’t want to miss out on important information or miss the crucial feedback that you can get from people about themselves, yourself, and your work. Pull down communication barriers and develop habits and skills that make you a relatable individual.
6. Effective Email Communication
Email has become a vital tool for communication, especially for work and business. You have probably sent and received tons of emails from people you have never met, but this email contact with them has already given you some perspectives about them.
Learning how to communicate appropriately and professionally via email can help you get more cooperation from associates and win you more business. Learn how to be courteous and professional when handling email conversations.
7. Be Persuasive
Being able to sell yourself and your ideas is an essential skill. While you don’t have to always have your way when communicating with people, you have to sound convincing.
Being persuasive is a skill that would be especially useful when you are dealing with skeptics or you find yourself in a competitive environment. Learn the techniques of persuasion and apply them in conversations.
8. Improve Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is described as “a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution.”((Business Queensland: Negotiating Successfully)) This skill is essential in finding common grounds with people and avoiding reaching a deadlock in conversations.
By learning how to negotiate, you will also be able to win more things for yourself in difficult situations. Improve your negotiation skills so you can always get the best possible result.
9. Be Objective in Conversations
To be objective is to reflect on situations based on facts rather than personal feelings, self interpretations, or prejudice.
People who are not objective can be difficult to deal with as they only see things from their point of view. When you are objective, however, you will be able to look at issues with an open mind and that would lead to having robust conversations.
Let the goal of every conversation be to understand and speak of facts rather than opinions.
10. Give Constructive Criticism
Criticism is what we give when we find some inadequacies in what someone else has done. Most people are quick to point out what someone has done wrong without proferring solutions. Show people what they have done wrong, but also appreciate what they have done right and also show them how they can be better.
Develop the consciousness to always give constructive criticism.
11. Be Inspiring
To be inspiring, you need to be enthusiastic. You also have to genuinely care about people and show them how they can be their best.
Also, do things deliberately to show example and inspire others. Go all out in inspiring people with your work and deeds.
12. Improve on Team Communication
Team communication involves all interaction and exchanges of information that goes on in a team ((Fleep: How to Improve Team Communication: The Ultimate Guide)).
If you are a part of a team, you need to play your part to keep the line of communication going so that the team can achieve its goals. Always communicate actively with your team to help achieve its goals.
13. Understand Body Language
Communication goes beyond what is being said. There are other things to look out if you want to comprehend the information someone is passing across and discern their intents. This includes eye contact, facial expression, gesticulation, etc.
Learn how to read body language and their implication in a conversation
14. Improve on Communication Follow-Up
Most communication encounters don’t end at once. Thus, there is the need to follow up and tie up loose ends, get feedbacks, set reminders, or move on to the next things.
Failure to follow up might lead to missing out on important outcomes. Some people might not take some matters seriously until they have been properly followed up. Follow up on important conversations and pursue matters to a reasonable end.
If you look deeper within yourself, you will find opportunities to improve your communication and make the best of your relationships. There is much to gain when you master the art of communication.
Knowing how to communicate and manage communications effectively is an essential skill both for now and for the future.