Communication at the workplace can be cringy at times. In fact, how often does “effective” communication happen in the workplace? Even with the best intentions, things can get in the way, the message can get lost in translation or it can sometimes feel that no-one is listening. Getting your message across clearly and quickly and having positive, productive conversations can have a huge impact on business success.
Here are some tips for effective workplace communication:
1. Hold face-to-face meetings.
It’s easier to communicate your passion and how you feel to your team via open meetings, rather than by email. By meeting face-to-face, people will not only hear what you’re saying, they’ll also see and feel it. This approach remains one of the best for communicating effectively with a team.
2. Know where to communicate and about what.
Your company may have different communication tools which makes knowing which tool to use more important. Which tool is appropriate for your question or comment? Do you need to communicate in real time, or is it ok to send a message? Should you set up a zoom meeting, send an email or hold a face-to-face meeting for the message you want to put across? If you’re not sure, ask a team member or manager where you should be sending different types of messages.
3. Watch your body language and tone of voice.
Communication isn’t just about what you say—it’s also about how you say it. Make sure you aren’t crossing your arms or coming off as curt. Oftentimes, your body language may have nothing to do with the current situation—maybe you’re tired or stressed about something in your personal life.
But your team members, who might not have that context, could see your actions and assume you’re angry or upset about something. Particularly for hard conversations, try to relax your body language and facial expressions to avoid giving off any unintentional cues.
4. Manage time effectively.
Timing can have a huge impact on the way your messages are received. Before you set up a meeting, make sure the timing’s right. Think about your colleagues – how will your meeting impact their schedules? Is first thing Monday morning, or Friday afternoon really the best time for this conversation? Choosing the right moment for your discussion can be as important as what you have to say.
5. Prioritize two-way communication.
Don’t just talk; listen. Don’t just hear; listen. Last but not least, don’t just listen to reply; listen to understand. A lot of conflict in meetings is caused by poor listening. Prioritizing two-way communication is an essential and effective communication skill that will definitely help you in the workplace!
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