Communication in the workplace
Communication in the workplace
Regardless the career field you choose, effective communication in the workplace is one of the essential skills an individual needs to acquire to successfully thrive. It’s a no-brainer. So, what is effective communication? Many are aware that effective communication involves two things: clarity and purpose. The sender’s message needs to be clear and concise, and the receiver needs to understand the conveyed message; ultimately, it should leave both parties satisfied. In contrast when there are no effective communications, it leads to conflicts, or in Taylor Swift’s lyricism “miscommunications lead to fallout” – from her hit single, “The Story of Us”. The importance of effective communication is hard to deny, but many of us are still struggling to implement it.
Before answering the ‘how’ questions, we need to understand the various types and styles of communication to successfully tackle it. There are five types of communication: verbal, non-verbal, writing, visual, and listening. Verbal communication – synonym for speaking – is an action everyone engages daily. It could be an informal verbal engagement between two friends over lunch or speaking to your boss regarding the recent report.
Depending on your environment, the utilisation of the appropriate words and terminology in the right context enhances individual’s verbal proficiency. Much research also cannot emphasise enough on the importance it – perhaps verbal proficiency is the first thing that attracts recruiters as it’s related to intelligence.
Moreover, non-verbal communication is equally important as verbal, yet it’s misunderstood by many. Non-verbal communications such as facial expression, posture, eye contact, and hand movements exert far more information than one realises. Thus, one must remain cautious and display appropriate body language when communicating with others. There is a saying “eyes are windows to the soul” – for instance, someone may be agreeing with you verbally, but their non-verbal cues such as avoiding eye contact and sighing may indicate otherwise.
Another important form of communication is written communication. In this digital age, exchanging texts and emails occurs on daily basis, thus efficient written communication such as appropriate grammar and sentence structure are now minimum requirements. Weak sentence structure and grammatical errors can deter your reader, and the message becomes pointless.
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To be effective communicator, one must also be an active listener. This involves being attentive to what other are saying and asking questions for clarification to demonstrate interests. It allows us to build rapport and trust simultaneously. Many studies have reported that individuals who mostly focus on delivering messages and opinions and spend a little time on listening are perceived as self-conceited, and their messages are viewed with a little consideration. As communication is an act of collaboration, it becomes ineffective when another party or whom is we are communicating is unresponsive.
Moreover, during commination your non-verbal cues should indicate the same as your verbal cues such as displaying interested and openness. The openness body language starts with facial expression. Your eyes should focus on the person whom you are talking to, and you may slightly nod your head or raise your eyebrows to indicate that you’re interested and actively listening. Your torso should also turn towards the person. It may be nonviable to track all these movements from moment to moment, therefore it is advised that creating the intent to remain open is vital. That is, when you’re speaking to someone, you can imagine that individual is your favourite person, or someone whom you are completely comfortable. It may be awkward or infeasible at first, but with practice the mind will gradually follow, and the body language will take care itself. In doing so, the person whom you’re talking to will extend the same receptiveness and signal positive attitudes.
Additionally, being aware specific audience in mind can facilitate with implementing effective workplace communication. When you are speaking – either your colleague or friends – it is important to tailor your communication tone to ensure that it aligns with the characteristic of the person whom you are talking to. For instance, if the person you’re talking to is calm and quiet, you may engage in way that calm you and approach gentle tone. Alternatively, if the person you are interacting is agitated, you approach in a calmly manner, attentively listen to what they’re saying to make them feel understood.
Effective communication in the workplace also involves interacting with empathy and understanding. As mentioned before, effective communication is two-way street, and seeing things from the point-of-view of others should be one of the priorities. Remaining impartial by discarding pre-conceived notions will enable you to better understand the emotions of others. If appropriate, telling yourself to be impartial via inner self-talk assists with remaining impartial and nonjudgmental. Even you don’t like them or agree with their ideas, values, or opinions, maintaining the intent to be impartial and expressing understanding is the key to effective communication.
Lastly, confidence is the key in effective communication. Basically, confidence is upholding the belief that you’re capable, understanding that mistakes do not define your value, and act in a way that convey that to those people around you. Recent search demonstrates that individual’s own belief about themselves impacts their performance. For example, if a person expects to do well in a certain project, their performance improves significantly. Alternatively, if the same person has a negative expectation on their own ability, their performance also plunges. Ultimately, when a person communicates with confidence, they convey their message concisely and with clarity – they don’t fumble or bumble with their words. In doing so, their words and actions have conviction, and more likely to be taken seriously by others.
To sum up, communication skills are important, not just for workplace but on a daily basis – it’s almost a necessity. Learning these techniques could help you with so much in life like making new friends and handling conflicts when they arise. However, it’s important to note that no skills are learnt over night, unless you’re a genius. It takes time and effort. But, if you’re willing to do whatever it takes because that’s what a successful person does, you will become an expert in no time.
Written by: Van Mang