Communicating Effectively

Effective communication is a key to effective consultation.

Ways to ensure that you are communicating effectively include: 

  • being proactive and positive 
  • listening and acknowledging views: consultation is a two-way process 
  • being responsive; follow-up as needed 
  • avoiding jargon and acronyms 
  • communicating information at the appropriate level of your audience 
  • ensuring all written information is concise, in plain English and easy to read 
  • not overloading people with too much information at one time 
  • getting to know people and developing relationships 
  • respecting tikanga Māori 
  • ensuring that you are accessible and responsive by following through on sending out any promised information, responding to phone calls, and giving people feedback on their comments if possible 
  • not raising unrealistic expectations about the level of influence that consultation may have on plan development and what a plan can achieve. 

Several different approaches can be taken to consult and communicate effectively with different audiences.

Some of these approaches could include: 

  • running interactive workshops or meetings that facilitate free and open discussions 
  • holding meetings of special-interest groups 
  • developing discussion documents, and asking people to comment on them 
  • holding meetings focused on particular issues 
  • asking people simple questions to provoke responses such as "what do you like/not like", "what do you want to change" 
  • carrying out perception or satisfaction surveys 
  • using interactive websites or media 
  • using participatory appraisal processes.