Many people think of workplace communication as a way to relay information, but it’s also about making sure your voice is heard. This article offers tips on how to make sure you’re not just sending messages but that you are getting through.
It can be challenging for introverts who prefer listening over talking or extroverts who want their voices always heard. So this post will help both types with tips on what works best in the office and tips for communicating better outside of work.
Tips For Effective Workplace Communication
1) Chose Your Words Carefully.
Take more time to say less. Say what you mean, and only that. If you want to be heard, respect your audience by being clear and concise. Make sure what you have said is precisely what you meant before continuing the conversation or sending a message because it’s tough to retract what has been previously said or shared.
2) Listen Carefully.
Taking the time to listen well will help you understand the content of what is being communicated and how it affects other people in your workplace. Ask questions if necessary, but make sure to do so at appropriate times (e.g., not while someone else is speaking). Avoid interrupting others while they are talking; let everyone get a chance to share their thoughts and feelings about an issue before jumping in with your perspective.
3) Keep Everyone In The Loop.
If you’re planning something that involves another person (e.g., launching a new product, organizing an event), let them know as early as possible so they can work together with you to complete the task at hand. Don’t just assume that everyone is aware of what you are doing; if you work with a team, communicate your ideas and intentions clearly and often so they can always be up to speed.
4) Be Flexible: Things Change.
You may need to adjust your plans as new information comes to light (e.g., someone cannot attend an event or participate in a project). If this needs to happen, be willing to change the way something is done or how it gets accomplished (e.g., reschedule if possible, ask for help from another colleague, accept less than ideal circumstances as long as a result will still be successful).
5) Get Everyone Involved: Make It Collective.
Asking for help or support when you need it is a great way to solve problems and get new ideas on the table. Don’t hesitate to ask, but also make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate in any decision-making processes that are part of completing tasks (e.g., if you’re organizing an event, take into account all suggestions when planning).
6) Speak Your Mind: Say What You Mean.
Don’t be afraid of communicating what you really mean or think, even if the result may seem aggressive or negative at first glance. It’s very important for people in your organization to feel like they can say anything without fear of retribution so they can share their true opinions and feelings with others (which will ultimately lead to better understanding and results).
7) Be Open To Feedback.
You don’t have to agree with anything that is said, but make sure you listen carefully when anyone offers you constructive criticism (e.g., someone tells you they think an idea won’t work, expresses frustration with the way you are doing something, or sends a message asking for more clarity on what’s happening in your project). Try not to overreact; instead, ask questions if necessary and consider what has been said before moving forward. Of course, if someone is suggesting something that goes against your interests (e.g., would cause you more work), it’s okay not to accept their input without further discussion.
8) Figure Out Who You Can Trust.
Not everyone will have the best intentions, so it’s essential to get to know your colleagues and figure out who you can count on in different situations (e.g., some people may go out of their way to sabotage others’ work). Note: This is not a witch hunt; instead, try to get a sense of who might be trustworthy and then interact with them accordingly (e.g., if you need information about how something works or want help completing a task, reach out to those people first).
9) Don’t Take It Personally.
Although much has been said about ‘not letting things bother you,’ there are occasions where what someone says or does really will feel like too much for you to handle. In these cases, make sure you take a few deep breaths and try not to let their words get the best of you (e.g., give yourself time away from that person if they are always negative or prone to outbursts). Also, think about what made them behave in such a way; it’s probably not really about you at all!
10) Don’t Suffocate Others With Your Opinions.
Make sure everyone has an opportunity to share their opinions or ideas before you jump in with your own thoughts on something. Although your input is valuable, so is everyone else’s! If people don’t have a chance to express themselves, they’ll feel like their thoughts don’t matter and won’t want to be part of future projects or decisions.
TIP: If you’re looking for tips about effective business writing, this post has a few great tips to help ensure your emails and written correspondence are clear, concise, and easy to understand by everyone!
These tips will help you communicate effectively with others at work, so problems don’t build up, and people feel supported as they complete tasks together as a team!
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