One of the largest problems in several work areas is ineffective communication. Usually, you are not informed what you need to learn, or you are informed but you just don’t comprehend. Sometimes, your co-workers speak rude and mean with each other, or just simple uncalled for. Remember that healthy communication is significant to an effective, productive, and comfortable workplace from employees to the management or vice-versa. Learn the ways to enhance communication skills in your workplace.
- Be an active listener. (a) Focus your attention. Resist daydreaming and ignore outside noise that may distract you. Don’t think about the speaker’s appearance or annoying habits rather concentrate on his message. (b) Identify the message. Ask yourself what the speaker wants you to know or do. (c) Summon up your background knowledge. Think about what you already know about the topic. This background knowledge helps you understand new information you receive from the speaker. (d) Grasp the main ideas. Listen for the key points of the message. To do this, listen for cues from the speaker like “My point…” or “What bothered me…” Remember that a speaker usually repeats or restates important ideas and say them more loudly or dramatically, or pause before and after stating them. (e) Visualize the message. Try to form pictures in your mind of the speaker’s message. This will make you remember the ideas more easily if you associate them with a series of mental pictures. (f) Check your understanding. Ask questions when you do not understand a key point. When possible, summarize the main ideas in your own words. (g) Take notes. Jot down the main points to help you understand and remember them.
- Be an effective speaker. (a) Select your topic. Identify what you want to talk about and what do you want the listener to know or do. (b) Analyze your listener or audience. Determine what the listener already knows about the topic. Think about the listener’s past experience and about previous conversations the two of you may have had. This will make you adapt your choice of words and your explanation of details to match the listener’s knowledge of your topic. (c) Plan the message. Decide what main points you need to make. Find a clear order in which to present them. (d) Send the message. Speak at a comfortable rate. Maintain eye contact so that listener knows you are concerned that he is getting the message. Emphasize the key points: repeat or restate them, make a pause or use signal expressions such as “First” or “In addition.” Check your listener’s understanding by observing your listener’s face and gestures and accept his questions. (e) Encourage the listener’s response. Invite the listener to ask questions or to comment on the message.
- Show effective non-verbal expression. Ideally, your non-verbal behavior at work should express confidence, interest, and eagerness. To show these good behaviors, be sure to make eye contact, to assume a pleasant facial expression and to sit up straight and lean forward slightly. Be sure that all your expressed non-verbal signals or behavior are positive but appropriate.