We can all
talk. Most people think that they have outstanding communication skills. But
everyday life shows that many people communicate extremely unprofessionally.
The following ten commands will ensure successful communication:
1. Thou shalt communicate in a manner
suitable for your audience
There is a difference between explaining certain facts to a bus driver or a
chemist. Try to discover whether your discussion or email partner prefers
arguments or facts or whether they respond more to emotional content. Ask
yourself whether you have a 'silent' listener or a 'know-it-all' in front of
2. Thou shalt not bore people
No matter whether you have to speak, email, or give a presentation: Always make
your communication interesting. For example, create a high level of suspense by
mentioning a topic but not telling your audience everything about it at once.
Avoid wooden expressions, use linguistic pictures.
3. Thou shalt not ramble
Remember the CCC rule: Curt, clear and crisp! Don't garnish your core message
with unimportant details, don't stray too far from the subject. With most
messages, a two-sentence introduction is fully adequate.
4. Thou shalt communicate BENEFITS
Your email recipients and discussion partners should get some benefit from
communicating with you. After all, people tend to focus on the benefits that
they can get. Say and write what the benefits are of listening to you.
5. Thou shalt communicate honestly
Communication becomes difficult when we have to communicate negative messages.
We tend to sugarcoat things and sometimes even resort to lies. But plain text
communication means not trying to whitewash over the truth.
6. Thou shalt show humanity
Empathize with your communication partner. Before you send an email, make a phone
call or meet someone, consider what you would expect if you were in their
position – and act accordingly.
7. Thou shalt not rattle on
If you want to speak or write PLAIN TEXT, you have to get certain things clear
beforehand. Where do you stand, what do you want to communicate? In this way,
your communication is convincing and you achieve what you want.
8. Thou shalt not use jargon
Dry official language is characterized by an excessive use of official terms
that most lay people have a problem understanding. Use more verbs. Avoid chains
of genitives. Don't use: "The wording of the resolution of the state
parliament of Baden-Württemberg", which sounds wooden. Prefer: "The
state parliament of Baden-Württemberg has defined…"
9. Thou shalt read between the lines
If the nurse says to the older patient, "Not again, Ms. Smith," this
contains a reproach. Always remember that apart from the content there is also
an appeal level ("stop that incessant ringing") and a relationship
level. And another thing: Body language also has an effect. A smile makes many
10. Thou shalt give feedback
At some time or other you've probably sent someone an email but got no
response. This is really bad style. Like in oral discussions where you signal
that you have understood the sender's message, you must do the same in email