Effective Communication – Going Back to Childhood

29 Apr

What is the most effective method of communication? Nowadays, literally almost everyone would answer Facebook, Twitter, or any form of social media. What about face to face interpersonal communication or meetings and conferences in a business setting? Not so easy to answer anymore. Surprisingly, the skills we develop in childhood, drawing or even just doodling, are now being encouraged among employees in work environment.

A picture REALLY is worth a thousand words.

Old. Over used. Cliché. But then, why would companies such as Facebook Inc. insist on providing employees with whiteboards and even writable glass? Because the statement still holds. Large firms are even willing to hold training sessions to teach employees the basics of visual note taking. Here are the following goals employers seek to accomplish through encouraging graphics:

  • Inspiring creativity – Drawing or doodling uses different parts of the brain than the typical calculation aspect of business. Encouraging employees to think differently inspires creation or new methods of getting the job done. In a rapidly changing environment, old methods may not always be the best methods.
  • Promoting diversity – Drawings are often interpreted differently by different people. By using graphics instead of giving specific details using words, employers leave room for various comprehensions. Employees then have opportunities to express their views on how the firm can improve, which may be significant to change current management styles.
  • Engaging employees in meetings or conferences – Employees may find it difficult to pay attention for an entire meeting or conferences. Allowing employees to take notes in graphics will help employees be more focused. Psychologist Jackie Andrade quoted, “doodling takes up just enough cognitive energy to prevent the mind from daydreaming.”
  • Overcoming language barriers – Not all employees may be fluent in a common language, especially with technical words in business settings. However, the communication barrier can be overcome by using simple drawings. The use of drawings to communicate may be applicable to global businesses as most simple drawings can be universally understood.

Last Tips

Studies show that employees get more out of meetings when information is presented in graphics instead of boring text. The quality of drawing also doesn’t matter. The key in communication via drawings is being simple. The goal is to prevent the stress from reading tedious emails and reports, and being efficient and effective.

By: JongWook Lim

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303978104577362402264009714.html?KEYWORDS=communication

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