10 Ways to Effectively Communicate in the Workplace
“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
Effective communication is the most important quality in a leader. Among other things, good communication skills are the grounds to distinguish a weak leader from a strong one. You can never be a good leader if you don’t know how to communicate with your staff effectively. After all, the job of a leader is to lead people, and you cannot really do that properly without effective communication.
Effective communication is the way to eliminate misunderstandings and put everyone’s efforts in sync to achieve the common goals. Effective communication will also lead to a healthy and friendly working environment.
As soon as you carry out the following steps, you will see that assigning and managing tasks in your organization has become faster and smoother. Meeting deadlines will seem like an easy thing to do and your work will prosper.
Make good use of Emails when you have a message for your team that doesn’t trigger or necessitate a response. Emails are a very effective and important way of communication in a workplace. Send an Email to your staff, when you don’t want to disrupt their routine with meetings just to pass a simple 5 sentence message. You can also use it to schedule a meeting in advance.
2. One on One Meeting
Nothing passes on a message better than a one on one meeting. Some people need spoon feeding when it comes to learning or receiving a message. Also, there are many things that cannot be expressed in a group meeting, as if a colleague is bullying one of your employees in the office.
3. Avoid Jargon
Vocabulary can be quite ambiguous and employees tend to restrain from interrupting the boss and look stupid. So, in order to be effective with your communication, you need to be very careful with the words you use in a meeting. Look for signs of confusion on the faces when you speak. When words are misunderstood, your employees can be misdirected and their efforts wasted. For example, when you ask your customer support team to report any difficult customers, what you meant was ‘abusive’, but they take it in a literal sense and start reporting anybody that gives them a hard time.
4. Group Meetings
When you have something important to say that your team needs to hear, say that in a group meeting. Approaching people in a group expresses credibility of the topic. Do it in a very clear and informative way, so that everybody understands it. Do not use any technical jargon while you speak and make good use of body language.
Make good use of diagrams, pictures and bar charts to explain complicated information. Studies have revealed that the human brain grasps information better and faster when shapes, colors, and pictures are involved. So make a powerpoint presentation to explain to your team how you to execute a particularly complicated task.
Communication is not ‘communication’ if you keep speaking without letting anybody else. You need to wait for and absorb input after every few sentences. Doubts will remain doubts throughout your speech if you don’t let anybody resolve his or her confusion with questions.
Use jokes and references when talking to your staff. Studies suggest that jokes can attract someone’s attention much better than any other means of motivation. This is also a highly effective approach to relieve tension. When there are tension and stress in the workplace, a little humor does the trick. A simple ‘That’s what she said’ after a remark ‘that’s a good position’ can do no harm. Just don’t overdo it, or else they might get distracted from work.
8. Body Language
Body language is a very important tool for communication. In amplifies understanding and passes on a message quicker. It also eliminates the scope of misunderstanding while communicating an ambiguous message to your employees. For example, using the word ‘object’ can mean two entirely different things. But if you use a finger to display the expression of ‘objecting’ to something, that eliminates any misunderstanding. Make sure to maintain eye contact at all times.
9. Encourage Feedback and Show Appreciation
Always remember to ask if they have any questions and demand feedback for your presentation. This will help you understand if your message was properly received or not. Sometimes, this approach will also invite some constructive criticism, but don’t get all defensive. Appreciate their input, try to understand their point and let them know that you will consider their point of view.
10. Employ an Anonymous Reporting System
Any kind of harassment or bullying in the workplace can ruin all your efforts and leave you clueless. In most cases of workplace harassment, the victim leaves the organization instead of reporting it. It’s really hard to expose such hidden issues and you might keep blaming yourself for something that’s not your fault. Employees suffering from harassment fear persecution for voicing their concerns. Encourage them to file a human resources complaint. Improve your hr investigation process. Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization, a special communication software that protects such employees with the power of anonymity.