Communication is the key to success!
‘Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of ideas, feelings, intentions, attitudes, expectations, perceptions or commands, as by speech, gestures, writings and behavior. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or more. Communication requires a sender, a message, a medium and a recipient, although the receiver does not have to be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver understands the sender’s message. 1) information exists in the mind of the sender. This can be a concept, idea, information, or feeling. 2) the message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols. 3) the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that a person can understand.’
Team members from all levels and areas of expertise (pre-service education, electronic/mobile learning, program development and monitoring & evaluation) gathered at the Accra office for a weeklong work-planning session to hash out the workplan/proposal of a new USAID award.
The team was given detailed background and history on the program description. Lessons learned from similar projects were shared; identification of stakeholders was completed early in the process and those stakeholders joined later in the week. Resources, tools and materials were forecast and priced; timelines defined. The ‘communication cycle’ was on REPEAT during all the sessions. Displayed in truck loads was patience and respect for ideas and time. Voices were heard and ideas included in documented plans with firm commitments. The process can be best described as painstaking.
I’m feeling challenged to examine my communication skills, the care and detail, as I endeavor to guide the communication efforts of my NGO’s health programs…