Effective communication in the workplace is key to establishing a long and healthy relationship between you and your co-workers, associates, and sometimes even between you and your boss.
Not only does communication feel good, but it also brings about deeper understanding between co-workers and shows successful results in the long run. This is why we have compiled some of the most useful tips on how to improve workplace communication.
1. Create a communication-friendly space
Maintaining a clear and constant flow of communication within your team should be your foremost priority. Whether they want to share ideas or speak about how they are feeling at work, nothing should be taboo.
On the contrary, expressions should be encouraged and there is no better way to do that than by creating a communication-friendly environment. If you are the leader of the team, set an example and always be open and transparent in communication.
2. Listening is key
Getting your point across to a group of people is tough and takes time. Instead of focusing on what you want to hear, focus on what your co-worker is trying to say. The same goes for when you are speaking – instead of focusing on what you want to say to get your point across, put more thought into what the other person hears and try to view things from his perspective.
Furthermore, instead of relying on the end-of-the-year reviews to communicate with your employees, a regularly scheduled one-on-one meeting is much more convenient for you to remain up-to-date on where your employees are at, how they are feeling, and what they need from you in order to excel.
3. Learn background information
Another piece of advice when it comes to improving communication in your workplace is to learn everything you can and have to know about the people you are working with, as well as the projects your team is working on. This way it will be easier for you to acquire their perspective, relate to them, and, if needed, resolve any ongoing problems.
Just like you would not want to come to the job interview without knowing anything about the company, coming unprepared to a team meeting will only cause confusion and misunderstanding between you and the team members. Learn about your audience and things that they are dealing with at the moment, using wording that will resonate with them and ensure their trust.
4. Be mindful of your body language
Whether you are communicating with a larger group of people, a small team, or an individual, make sure that how you speak also communicates an intention behind what you want to express.
If you have your arms crossed while you are speaking to a group of people or keep looking at your watch, your manner can be interpreted as either bossy or disrespectful. Make sure that you are always aware of what your body language is when you are speaking to other employees or associates.
Lastly, be mindful of your tone. When you are trying to communicate something or give your employees constructive feedback, make sure you are not raising your voice or speaking over them, as that can imply that you are aggravated or upset, which might not be what you are actually trying to express.
Having a hold over workplace communication skills is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone in your team understands and knows what is expected of them. While building trust and creating an enjoyable workspace, previously listed practical communication skills are some of the essential tenants that will keep your team moving forward, in the direction of a better company.