Effective communication can prevent problems before they occur. As a quick exercise, think about how many issues in your organization are caused by miscommunications. How much time and energy is lost because instructions and obligations are misunderstood? It’s a serious problem for all organizations, but especially for student groups. Here are three reasons why, along with some ways student leaders can overcome them.
Students exchange a ton of information across a lot of platforms. With everything going on it is easy for things to be missed, which is why many companies spend tons of money on systems to centralize and track communications. Students do not have the time or money for a bulky system like that, but there are easy alternatives. One way to improve communication is to decide what platform you will use to discuss business. It could be a group chat for the officers, an email chain, or a specially designed app like Attune.
It is hard to format detailed information in texts, emails, and social media posts. Too often it ends up as a block of text, which is a nightmare for everyone. It takes the officers forever to write and proofread and it is easy for the members to overlook a critical detail buried in a paragraph. A better option is to do what the Attune app does and format information in separate fields so it’s easier to write, proofread, and read at a glance.
Effective communication takes practice. Getting involved in a group like a club, fraternity, or sorority is a great way to start improving your communication skills, but it still takes time. Unfortunately student leaders do not have a lot of time to learn these skills because they only hold officer positions for a semester or a year at a time, which causes problems we discussed when looking at the unique needs of student groups. Student leaders can combat this by supplementing their personal experience with advice from book, mentors, or articles like this.
Improving your communication skills is a never ending journey. No matter how good you get at it there is always more to learn. Never be afraid to make mistakes, ask for help, or take advantage of helpful resources along the way.