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Austin Community College
Office of the President (email)
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78752-4390
512.223.7598; 512.223.7185 (Fax)
Guidelines for Effective Communication
spacer The responsibility for establishing effective communication rests with ALL employees. To create a learning environment characterized by trust, respect, sharing, and open discussion of concerns, everyone is encouraged to act in the manner in which they desire to be treated.


  • Share information (verbal, written, electronic) which can help others.

  • Assume responsibility for providing adequate background information on issues.

  • Approach difficult situations in a fact-based, non-personalized manner.

  • Model the professional behavior you wish to receive.

Meetings (Responsibility of the Chairs)

  • Ask if the meeting is necessary, or if the objectives can be achieved in another format.

  • Schedule and publish meetings at least one-semester in advance.

  • Publish Agendas in advance, with appropriate materials, so members can prepare.

  • Start and end meetings on time (respect people's time and other commitments).

  • Assure all members equal time to express opinions.

  • Invite others to attend meetings on specific topics if they have particular expertise or viewpoints which may be helpful.

  • It's o.k. (even preferable) to allow a little fun.

  • Publish Minutes on the web within 5 days of the meeting.


  • Be specific and concise. Highlight deadline dates. Make clear who is getting the information, and who to contact if there are questions.

  • If angry or upset, heed the signals and wait until you have better control of yourself.

Conflict Management

  • Keep things "issue specific" and don't "keep score" or hold grudges.

  • Acknowledge that it is o.k. to professionally disagree and still work effectively and with respect.

  • Focus on concepts and ideas, not personalities.

  • Listen without interrupting, then summarize what you think the other party said.

  • Be specific about what you can and cannot do; refer to your supervisor if you can't reach agreement.

  • Demonstrate the same respect and behavior you would appreciate receiving.


  • Don't repeat them if you don't know/can't verify them. Ask if there is anything positive accomplished by repeating (even if true).

  • Ask for clarification from the appropriate supervisor if the rumor directly affects you.

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