We’ve all heard the phrase ‘communication is key’, and it’s a good one to remember. Efficient and effective communication in the workplace is a vital asset to any successful business organisation. Here are 6 Tips on how to hone in on your communication skills:
Don’t save face-to-face
In the age of instant communication, it is easy to forget the most essential form of communication of talking in person. Face-to-face conversations may be less convenient but are still necessary. It is a far better way of building trust and honesty in the workplace. In person communication eliminates any misreading of emails or written forms. There is a lot to be said for the unspoken communication of body language too that can only be done in person. There is a reason why people make pitches, and go for business meetings rather than sending over letters.
Have each other’s (feed)back
Improving communication in the workplace can be a simple case of creating a receptive environment. Encourage feedback from your colleagues. This is a critical element of communication that ensures that things are not a one-sided dialogue, but an actual conversation. Getting a response and the opinions of your employees or co-workers can also be a way to measure communication efficiency in being able to see how they have understood and/or interpreted your ideas or plans for particular work tasks or projects.
A picture is worth a 1000 words
Going visual in your communication with diagrams is not a bad idea. Better still, paint a picture by demonstrating what you mean through your own actions. Painting a picture for others in the way you process work or approach a task is sometimes a more effective way of communicating your ideas. Not only is this an effective leadership skill but also is actually a vital element and will reap benefits in promoting a united work ethos. It also ensures that there is real substance in what you are communicating. Bearing this tip in mind can help you find the necessary elements and driving points.
Keep it simple
Using simple words is not insulting. It’s helpful! Being comprehensive but concise is the best way to get a message across. Communication is most efficient when you are able to convey things in the most basic terms. This can eliminate ambiguity and confusion. We’ve all had an email backlog to read through. Why risk getting forgotten when simple instructions will get done more efficiently? There is also such a thing as over-communication. By repeating things unnecessarily, or over-explaining concepts, people are ironically less likely to remember them. They become associated with annoyance, and makes communication less efficient and actually quite redundant.
Please and Thank you-s
Yes, it’s elementary… but essential. Being appreciative in your communication is so important. Especially if someone has delivered upon a request or suggestion you have made. After all,
communication is a real reflection of your business relationships. A closer-knit company will have more cohesive communication. And building upon good relationships in the workplace is never a bad idea.
…where you can be. Of course for group emails, you are not going to be able to address everyone individually. However, where possible, try to make communication individual and personal. Receiving messages by email or text can make communication seem unnecessarily a chore. How many times have you begrudgingly looked at your inbox?! Some companies even swear by a creating an ‘office language’ tailored to the company culture such as using abbreviations and acronyms that only you and your workplace will understand, just to keep things light and possibly even fun?
Whilst emotional intelligence is a key part of communication, letting your own emotions run too freely, can become a hindrance at work. Keep your stress in check. When communicating, you want to be clear, and stress can often make you more emotional than you want to be. It can put across a message that is differently nuanced because of your own nerves or tension. Furthermore, set aside judgement. Our efficacy of communication can also be distorted if we are subjective about the way we talk or the people we are talking to. Especially in the workplace judgement or bias can be dangerous.