Communication between junior and superior officers in the Public Service has been said to be beyond talking and listening, which makes it imperative for public servants to see the need to acquire basic skills to be able to communicate effectively and ensure that actual messages are delivered and appropriately acted upon.
The Director, Administration and Human Resources, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Barr. Abayomi Oyelola, mni, made this known while presenting a paper, titled, “Effective Communication Skills and Administrative Procedures in the Public Sector,” at the 5-day Workshop on “Repositioning Culture Workers for Improved Productivity,” organised by the Institute for staffers from the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, at the Oasis Grand Hotel & Gardens, Mararaba, Nasarawa State.
Abayomi, who said such skills can be acquired through routine practice, knowledge gained from capacity building workshops, experience and interaction with senior officers who have already gone through the public service mill, maintained that the acquisition of such skills was also needed for career progression and to show that the officers were adept with the art of report or letter writing as well as effectively communicating with colleagues and superior officers.
While saying that as simple as communication may seem, much of what public servants want to communicate within themselves, be it from top down the ladder or otherwise, is often times misunderstood, which leads to conflicts and frustration in personal and professional relationships; thus the need to imbibe effective communication skills that will better connect them.
His words: “No matter your age, background or experience, effective communication is a skill you can learn. The greatest leaders of all time are also fantastic communicators and orators. People recognise the value of a truly efficient communicator. With a little self-confidence and knowledge of the basics, you’ll be able to get your point across in no time.”
According to him, effective communication goes beyond just exchanging information to understanding the emotion behind the information: “Effective communication can improve relationships at home, work and in social situations by deepening your connections to others and improving teamwork, decision-making and problem solving. It enables you to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust,” he said.
Further speaking on the administrative procedure for communication in the public service, Abayomi said before one can be qualified as an effective communicator and potentially effective public servant, he/she must understand the different forms of communication in the service, which include internal memos, official letters, briefs, file notes, circular letters, reports and memoranda, amongst others.
The HR Director further stressed that effective communication could ensure better understanding of a person or situation with the ability to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create environments where creative ideas, problem solving, affection and caring could flourish.