Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 4: Capable and Confident Producers
Procedure 4.2
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The key to every successful business is effective communication. It underpins efficient transfer of information and knowledge, the development of positive relationships and the creation of a productive work and family environment. Improving communication pathways can have positive and lasting benefits for work, family relationships and business performance. Creating effective communication delivers benefits through
the ‘3 Rs’:

Relationship: good communication (both talking and listening) is the basis of all high quality relationships, whether personal or business.

Relevance: the message sent needs to be the message received. There are barriers if the receiver feels the information is not relevant, or not ‘packaged’ in a relevant way.

Respect: although you may not always agree with what is being said, respect for what a person is saying is important to developing dialogue. Respect is created by focusing on the issue, not the person.


At a Glance
pt Determine the different communication styles of people involved with the business

pt Find new ways to improve the quality of business relationships

Key decisions, critical actions and benchmarks

Dialogue versus debate

Dialogue is an effective communication tool to deal with controversial issues, whereas debate can quickly descend into disagreement. Tool 4.2 provides a comparison of dialogue and debate in communication. Always strive for dialogue in a best-practice approach.

Communication styles

People have different styles of communicating. Effective communicators recognise this. Get to know and understand the strengths and limitations of your communication style, and those of others within your business. Tool 4.3 will help you to do this – and it’s a good fun exercise.

Once barriers or blockages are identified, take action to improve communication. Often new approaches can solve old problems. Discuss the results as a family or a business group, focusing on the positives but also identifying any limitations or challenges. Use tool 1.5 in Plan for Success to identify and build on the positives in your business.

Use your next business meeting (see tool 4.1) to discuss and agree on some actions you think will make communication more effective. Plan a follow-up meeting to allow the impacts of any changes to be evaluated. When ongoing tensions or conflicts exist within the business seek help from an external facilitator or trusted “outsider”.

Important principles to improve communication

  • Be aware of the range in communication styles as it is often the way in which a message is delivered that creates a blockage or barrier.
  • Analyse yourself before trying to analyse others. Understand why difficulties arise. Be honest, logical, clear in dialogue, and if something is not working, try something new or different to reach a consensus.
  • Plan and monitor your strategies to improve communication and relationships. Be positive and proactive. When faced with a difficult situation don’t follow a path of evasion, avoidance, frustration and anger.
  • Always work towards creating a win-win situation where there are gains or benefits for both sides.
  • Remember we are all ‘difficult people’ to someone so monitor your own behaviour and make changes where necessary.