Hey hey! Hope the previous post about the communication barriers brought you some food for thought. If you didn’t have a chance to read it yet, you’re more than welcome to check it and share your ideas in the comments. 🙂
In the meantime, we’re moving on and in this post I will focus on the most precious asset. People.
The sender and recipient are the two key roles in the communication. I have already covered some of the aspects of learning your target audience in one of my previous posts. But this time I wanted to look deeper into the question and to make a more detailed representation of what target audience profile consists of. Since communication is not one-sided and involves feedback, the profile study is relevant for both the sender and recipient.
Before the message sets to its journey, the sender should apply some magic to encode the information they want to convey. After the message is shaped, travels and reaches its destination, it is usually decoded and interpreted and the happy recipient realises the sender’s intention. Or not.
Your message can successfully travel through
the walls and trenches of the channel but still crash into pieces against the barriers inside the recipient’s mind.
Successful encoding and decoding of the message means that the parties engaged in a communication act possess some kind of a codebook. Rarely the codebooks are identical. But to be efficient, the encoding/decoding magic should be using very similar spells. Apart from having the same codebook, they should have some shared background and context. Often, communicators blame the audience for not accepting a message, but it is often that the sender encoding magic did not take into consideration all the aspects of the target audience.
So let’s take a closer look at what spells a successful communicator should know to get the message through safely. Or, in other words, what they should consider regarding their target audience when generating the message.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind when communicating is that people are not robots. They have no identical algorithms that parse your messages impeccably accurate. And the reason behind it is that we are all very different. Extremely different. People with the same origin and similar backgrounds can have their brains function in so many different ways depending on their mood, inclinations, passions, inner conflicts, worries and joys. Emotional state affects the very moment of the communication, but there are much broader things engaged in the communication act, that a person has been diligently gathering throughout their lifetime.
I have been thinking about it for a long time, and with my ear tuned, wandering through numerous meetings and conversations, speeches and writings, I have been noticing and carefully gathering the audience profile berries into my communication skills basket.
As a result, I came up with a mind map reflecting some of the things a person’s profile engaged in communication consists of:
It seems to me quite a comprehensive representation of what it takes to be a communicating animal. But I’m sure there can be something to add. And if you think so too, please, leave a note in the comments and share your insights on what else should be considered when dealing with communication in terms of people.
In the following posts I will elaborate on each point from the chart and hopefully will shed some more light on what it takes to be a successful communicator.
Stay tuned and subscribe fore more posts!
May the communication force be with you! 🙂