Is there a science to communicating?

by Miranda Olsen, Consultant — Organisational and Change Communication

Published on
February 22, 2017

There is a short answer and a long answer. Both of them are ‘yes’.

Effective communication is not only a science but an art, and a skill we all require to navigate our way through life. If you had asked me that question five years ago, my answer would have been different, but I have learned some valuable lessons in the past few years, some the hard way.

There are many things to consider when communicating, both professionally and personally. Communication always has a purpose. What is your goal? Your message? Who is your audience? What is the best time to reach them, and via what means? If you are communicating face-to-face, what does your body language reveal? How can communication be anything but a science when there is so much to contemplate before you even start?

Listening may be the most critical consideration for communicating effectively. Listen to your audience, consider what they are saying or will want to know, and incorporate their feedback into your messaging and approach. Effective communication is two-way, there are no two ways about it.

Communication requires planning, precision and practise to ensure your message cuts through the clutter and has the desired outcome. My advice? Probably best not to ‘wing it’.