Communication is a reflex action. We communicate with our spouse, kids and friends and literally everyone around us. The way we communicate with people differs. However, we must be very careful with how we communicate at work.
Communicating might seem easy but it takes a bit of finesse, choosing the right words, listening to your mind and not just your ears.
Getting the message across is a skill we must continuously work on and here are few tips to help you communicate effectively at the workplace:
1. MAKE WORK FUN
If you want your employees to communicate among themselves effectively, you will need to make work fun. The typical 9-5 hours is quite lengthy but it does not have to be boring. Whatever you do, create an atmosphere of fun within the workplace. Whether you have to come up with something as little as 10minutes daily or weekly or monthly hangouts, ensure you get your employees to cut loose for a bit. They will appreciate it will enhance their productivity.
2. DON’T JUST BE HEARD, LISTEN
Its easy to dump instructions on people when we want to pass a message across but listening actually takes a little bit more than talking. To communicate effectively, you have to listen attentively to the person speaking and at some point repeat what he or she has said. That way, they may be able to correct you if have misunderstood the message. This reassures your employers that you are interested in whatever it is they are saying to you.
3. TAKE YOUR EMOTIONS OUT OF THE EQUATION
You try to promote professionalism at the office, but that’s not always easy to do when so many different personalities converge in a small space. Sometimes work discussions can turn into personal attacks. When an employee is starting to get under your skin, take your emotions out of the equation.
Instead, take a deep breath, count to 1 to 10 and respond in a calm, unemotional way. Do not take things personal and do ensure the other person is not taking your comment the wrong way. No matter how innocent your intentions are, your words can be misunderstood. Ask for clarification at the end of every conversation. Make sure you and your employees are on the same page.
4. GIVE GOOD FEEDBACK
Your workers need to know that you recognize or appreciate their effort and you expect them to work harder. When you do give feedback, make sure it is as clear as possible. Try to profer solution if there is a problem. You don’t have to hold regular meetings to share feedback, although that’s one way to do it.
There are many other ways to let your employees know what you think of their work through e-mails, phone calls, or brief status updates once a week. Communicate your disappointments in a very constructive way. Praise and recognition also make employees feel important, it serves as a source of motivation.
5. HANDLE CONFLICTS WITH DIPLOMACY
The different personalities at the work place serve as an open ground for conflicts. To prevent small conflicts from exploding into major crises, nip issues in the bud right away. Let employees know from the start that your door is always open to resolve whatever problems they have.
Encourage them to come to you by creating a safe environment in which they feel comfortable and they can honestly and openly voice their frustrations. All conversations held in your office should remain confidential. When you respond to conflicts, do so with an open mind and with a non-judgmental approach. That means there should be no personal attacks when dealing with these conflicts.
6. REVIVE THE ART OF CONVERSATION
Since the late 1990s, companies have become dependent on sending e-mails as their primary connection with outside clients and colleagues. They also prefer sending e-mails for internal communications (which means employees sitting just a cubicle-length apart are writing to, rather than talking to one another). We’ve become so reliant on our computers and palm devices that we’ve neglected the art of conversation.
Technology is wonderful for improving speed, but it can have a detrimental effect on personal relationships but there is a cure for technology overload: Pick up the phone once in a while and make a call. Better yet, take a little walk across the office and talk to your employees face to face.