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4. Understanding purpose of message Before even beginning a communication process, it is vital to understand what customer or employee knows and feels about you and ideas you represent. Knowing this helps you decide purpose of message.
Akin to Maslow's psychological heirarchy, there are four levels of purpose, each of which pre-supposes and relies on existence of previous level. They are sequential and it is not possible to achieve an objective until all levels are completed, in order and fully.
The levels, in ascending order are: Awareness > Understanding > Conviction > Action
4.1: Awareness Let's take as an example a company attempting to differentiate itself in marketplace, with end goal of bringing someone to make a purchase of their service.
Without bringing your existence to attention of prospective customer you cannot move on to higher levels. Indeed, even internal communications often fall short on this point: they fail to restate context of communication, which is in effect 'awareness'.
4.2: Understanding Once a prospect has gained awareness, they are then ready to move on to understanding what it is that differentiates you from 'noise' of your competitors. They will need to understand what specific qualities YOU bring to marketplace.
This level is vital to internal communication: biggest block I come across in assessing why an internal communication has failed is not that staff don't know 'what' is going on, but that they don't understand 'why' it is going on.
4.3: Conviction Customers now have awareness and understanding; they now need convincing that your service is right for them.
Even more importantly, they must be convinced that YOU must be their supplier, because YOU have a distinctive competence that meets THEIR specific needs.
4.4: Action Finally, this conviction in you must be turned into action. It is up to you to decide what action they should ideally take -— a phone call into a sales office, perhaps, or a request for a consultant to visit; even a request for further supporting literature.
In internal communication primary level is all to obvious —- action. Yet unless those who are to deliver service are made aware, helped to understand and are convinced they will not deliver effectively or efficiently.
Conclusion ========== At heart of all management lies communication, and successful communication is not a one-to-many transaction, but a dialogue between interested parties. Successful dialogues rely on four principles: Reality, Reaction, Co-ordination and Purposefulness.
Understanding what other's 'reality' is, giving and receiving appropriate reactions to feedback, co-ordinating coherent messages and understand purpose of each message are four key principles for successful communication.
When you match consumer psychology with effective communication styles you get a powerful combination. At Hopkins-Business- Communication-Training.com you can find the secrets to communication success. At Hopkins we show you how to communicate better for better business results. www.hopkins-business-communication-training.com