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Leadership for Today - Effective Group Communication

Updated December 17, 2018
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Karla Trautman

SDSU Extension Interim Director

Within a given day, human beings rely on the ability to communicate as a means of transferring information. Whether we speak, listen, write notes or letters, email, or text message, the process of communicating thoughts, ideas, and feelings is something we find to be important but typically give little thought to.

In organized group situations, the art of good communication helps build trust and respect. It fosters a positive learning environment and can set the stage for the group to achieve its identified mission, vision, and goals. In any group setting, members may share a common interest and commitment, yet also may see things from a variety of perspectives. Effective communication is one means for a group of diverse individuals to share ideas, construct solutions, and make appropriate decisions. We send a variety of messages on a constant basis— including those messages we intend to send, those we actually send, messages a listener thinks he/she heard, responses from a listener based on what they think they heard, and our response. When it comes to communication, there is a lot for a person to recall, and recall is key to effective communication. Research has shown that people generally remember:

  • 10% of what they read
  • 20% of what they hear
  • 30% of what they see
  • 50% of what they hear and see
  • 70% of what they say and write
  • 90% of what they say as they do something