Communication is the exchange of information, ideas and feelings with other people through a medium. In this article, we focus on conversation as the most common form of communication in the workplace. Effective communication forms the basis of any successful company or organisation. The way a business deals with development and monitoring communication channels between employees and employers shows its level of commitment to increased productivity and success.
In order to become a good communicator, we need to focus on what we want to communicate, what the other person is trying to tell us and the flow of the communication. These basic points are essential to the success of any communication, especially those in the workplace. This article explores these points in more detail.
Make a clear point. When delivering your message, you have to decide which parts are more relevant to each particular conversation. Removing unnecessary and irrelevant parts can make the conversation more interesting to follow. Body language, tone of voice and your appearance can be used to increase the chance of having an effective conversation with a customer or your superior. You can initiate a topic and attract more attention by talking enthusiastically and having a positive body language, while also looking smart.
Develop effective listening. You also need to develop good listening habits. This involves showing empathy when presented with other’s problems and worries and asking the right question to gain more information about the subject. Effective listening helps to extract important information from a seemingly casual conversation. Listening will help you to understand your client’s requests, their needs and worries and therefore enables you to offer a better service, which will produce short-term financial profits and long-term professional relationships. Effective listening also helps you to build up better relationships in the workplace by understanding the suggestions, feedbacks and concerns of your colleagues and managers. All this information can be used to improve your personal and professional skills and leads to increased productivity and long-term success.
Control the flow of conversation. This point is vital to successful communication, especially in a business environment where time is very precious and there are deadlines to meet. Be assertive and confident when in charge of a project or a meeting to control the unrelated discussions that can waste time and money. However, “office chatter” is unavoidable. People will be talking about movies, holidays, cars and other unrelated things when at work but they will also be talking about business, work projects and promotions. Rather than avoiding or trying to control these types of conversations, take part and make the best use of them. They will increase your popularity and help to build useful professional relationships and even long-lasting friendships.
Tips for effective communication in the workplace:
- Be clear about your objective and the purpose of the conversation, what are you trying to achieve?
- Ensure others have understood your point by asking for confirmation.
- Make sure you have understood others by asking questions.
- Get a written copy of agreed objectives for everyone involved in the meeting or project. This will reduce any remaining ambiguity about the aim and people’s responsibilities.
- Be assertive. Don’t be pushed into something you don’t want to do.
- In confronting situations, stay professional. Give feedback on attitudes but don’t attack personalities.
- Non-verbal communication is as important as verbal communication. Pay attention to your voice, body language and appearance.
- Walk the talk. Gain others' respect and trust by taking responsibility for your actions and by implementing what you advise others to do.
- Reflect on your conversations. Did you perform as well as you like? Did your point come across as clearly as you intended?
- Train in areas where you need more confidence by using communication skills training and exercises.