7 Tips To Communicating Clearly At Work
Effective workplace communication is vital to creating and maintaining a positive work environment. The advancement in technology during the last several years that have improved the ease at which people communicate in the workplace, however, with this ease comes a tendency to disregard the importance of effective face-to-face communication. Below are a few tips for effective communication that will help increase productivity and improve relationships with co-workers.
- Communicate face-to-face whenever possible: How many times have you sent an email to a co-worker or superior that was misconstrued? Electronic communication can have a detrimental effect on any type of relationship, especially relationships with co-workers. Since the majority of meaning during a conversation comes from nonverbal gestures and facial expressions, it is easier to decipher the meaning behind what a person says when communicating face-to-face. To improve workplace communication, pick up the phone every once in a while, or pay a visit to your co-worker when you have something important to say.
- Provide clear information: Workplace communication involves passing information from one person to the other. If you do not communicate clearly and accurately, it can cause confusion instead of clarity. Plan your communication to ensure that you are passing along the correct information and the right amount so that those you are communicating with understand what you are saying.
- Don’t just hear, listen: Listening is an important communication skill that many people do not possess. Most conflict is a result of poor listening. In order to share information with another person, you have to hear what is being communicated. To learn how to listen well, paraphrase to show that you are listening and to verify accuracy. This will reduce the likelihood of conflict and will help you become a more effective communicator. Try to keep a mental checklist of all the important points the person makes.
- Ask questions: Asking questions not only shows you were listening, but also confirm that you understood the other person. You can also use questions to gather information and help you understand the conversation.
- Handle conflicts with diplomacy: If you feel someone misunderstood something you communicated, talk to him or her about it as soon as possible. Doing so can prevent unnecessary resentment and loss of productivity. When handling a conflict, respond with an open-mind and refrain from personal attacks. Ask questions and listen carefully to the responses so you can understand where the other person is coming from. Doing so will help you reach a resolution that is acceptable to everyone.
- Avoid discussing controversial topics: Try to keep the topic of conversation in the workplace neutral. Refrain from discussing politics or other controversial topics in the office to prevent offending anyone. While it’s great idea to talk to the people you work with and get to know them, it’s best to avoid controversial subjects.
- Offer positive feedback: If your co-worker performs a task well, tell him or her. Providing positive feedback is a great way to improve workplace communication. It also helps people view you more favorably and encourages open communication.