Communicating effectively in the workplace is a vital skill, and everyone has the potential to improve their workplace communication. Here are five top ways to communicate effectively at work, and how you can improve your workplace communication.
Be a Good Listener
Taking the time to listen to your colleagues, as opposed to simply giving your input without receiving their input in return, is a great way to improve workplace communication. Active listening is a great way to ensure that you are being a good listener. Active listening involves things like paraphrasing what the speaker just said to you back to them, eye contact, nodding, affirming what was said verbally, and asking follow-up questions.
These things help assure the speaker they are being heard, while helping to minimize any miscommunication that could occur between yourself and the speaker. It also helps to establish a rapport and trust between the parties communicating. Empathizing with others and the problems they are experiencing is a great way to build trust.
Nonverbal Cues Speak Volumes
Your nonverbal cues during an interaction, including your hand gestures, eye contact, body language, and the tone of your voice, are all important to how what your saying is coming across to another person. Having body language that appears relaxed, as well as keeping your tone welcoming, are ways to make whomever you’re speaking to feel comfortable.
It’s important that you also pay attention to the other person’s nonverbal cues, which can reveal a lot about how they are feeling about a situation.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Whether you’re speaking to someone in-person, or over the phone, or via e-mail, you should always strive to convey your ideas in a way that is both clear and concise. This can help reduce any possible confusing, and helps keeps your audience from growing disinterested with what you are saying.
It can also be helpful to learn about which team members prefer a certain form of communication. Knowing how to reach each individual fastest can help to keep everyone in the loop.
Both giving and receiving feedback can help you and your coworkers foster a positive work environment, especially if you are in a managerial position. Taking the time to praise your employees for a job well done can help boost morale, as well as getting feedback back from your staff, can be constructive.
Keeping feedback focused on work, rather than letting it get personal, can be a great way to avoid hurt feelings.
Be Respectful and Open-Minded
Using someone’s name when addressing them, using eye contact when speaking with them, as well as being open-minded while conversing, can help lead to a more productive conversation. Creating a dialog with someone involved mutual respect and open-mindedness between the two parties, and taking the lead on this can help set a good precedent. Making assumptions too quickly can lead to miscommunication. Keep in mind that different people have different strengths and weaknesses, and that learning about them can help you create an overall more productive workforce.