Communication Skills for Workplace Success
In the present scenario, boasting about only technical skills is not enough to get the work done at the workplace. It doesn’t matter how good of an employee or employer you are or how good your working style is, your career will thrive based on your soft skills. With that said, you can’t avoid communication in the workplace – in person, on-call, or on-screen. Simply put, completing a task or a project requires the support of the whole team, and without proper communication, things will remain under the rock.
The ability to communicate with your peers, superiors, and colleagues is the need of the hour in every workplace. In fact, a study found that a workplace with effective communication is 50% more likely to have reduced employee turnover.
Effective communication skills in the workplace reduce office conflicts, lower the risk of projects going sideways, and make work more enjoyable.
We know that you are constantly looking for ways to upskill and grow. So, why not include ‘communication skills’ in the mix?
To help you understand the importance of effective communication in the workplace, the ways you can improve it, and achieve workplace success, we have created this post that covers all the aspects of communication in the workplace. So, keep reading on.
The Role of Communication in Team Building
While no one doubts the significance of team building in the workplace, the need to maintain the team and persistently nurture an ecosystem where it can thrive and grow is often ignored. Having quality communication skills in the workplace can help keep the team together and make the work environment lively and positive.
It not only creates an understanding but awareness as well that promotes proficiency as team members complete their tasks. For an organization, the elements of good team communication skills in the workplace are crucial to accomplish and sustain profit.
Communication plays a substantial role in team building and mining the best out of the employees. As a team member, you must clearly understand what your fellow team members are up to. You should be crystal clear about your responsibilities and roles in the team. On the other hand, it is the team leader’s responsibility to delegate the roles as per the specialization and interest of the team members without forcing things on them.
Keeping things within yourself is only going to stress you out and crib later. If you feel like one of your colleagues needs to be corrected regarding the work he/she is doing, do not hesitate to correct them. If he/she messes up, your work also gets messed up.
This is where effective communication skills in the workplace come in handy. Instead of criticizing or shouting at your colleague, you need to communicate in a convincing and polite manner that he/she realizes the mistake.
Office conflicts are common and those who could sort them out just by communicating maintain a proper working environment while still being respectful to each other. Effective communication reduces the odds of fights and conflicts among the employees and team members. Communication helps in generating ideas, building authentic relationships, and overcoming challenges at the workplace. With this, the employers and employees feel empowered and motivated.
How to Get Better at Communication in the Workplace?
Now that you know good communication is the key ingredient for workplace success that delivers a successful, performing team, it is time that you learn how to approach good communication with your employers and team members.
In this section, we share 7 actionable tips and advice for you to improve the quantity and quality of communication in the workplace.
#1 Body Language
When we talk about body language, we are talking about how you present yourself when talking. The hand gestures, eye contact, and the tone of your voice, all play a vital role when you are trying to convey a message.
A relaxed, approachable stance with a friendly tone will encourage everyone to speak to you openly without any hesitation. Maintaining eye contact with the person with whom you are talking is also important. It establishes the fact that you are focused on that individual and the conversation. It keeps the person engaged in the conversation.
Most importantly, you need to understand that non-verbal signals are also a kind of communication. Non-verbal signs such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, nodding, etc. signify how a person is actually feeling.
Communication in the workplace is not all about speaking. Communication is a two-way channel. If you are speaking, the other has to listen. No one likes to speak to someone who just talks and does not care to listen to what others have to say. Listening to what others have to say, their views on what you said, etc., make things transparent between you and the team members. Pay close attention to people when they are talking. This allows you to ask questions, clarify doubts, and ensure that all of you are on the same page.
#3 Conciseness and Clarity
One of the key ingredients for effective communication in the workplace is clarity. If others can’t understand what you are saying, or you are making things complex to convey a basic message, it will disinterest people, and they won’t listen to you. "Say things precisely and with clarity. Keep the message short and clear enough to make others easily understand what you want to convey. It saves time and increases productivity," - state professionals from Preply.com.
#4 Be Friendly and Polite
In order to engage your team members in an honest and open conversation, you need to approach them with a friendly tone. This is because if your team members think you are approachable for a conversation, they will come to talk to you regarding everything, be it work or personal. And this is not just limited to talking. You can implement this in every mode of communication, whether they are emails or text messages.
Showing empathy is important, especially if you are the employer. It shows that you respect your employees’ opinions and have been listening to them all the time. It is not all about the work and tasks. Keep these three aspects in mind for being empathetic:
- Treat your colleagues and staff like the way you would like to be treated.
- Don’t criticize them. Try to understand their situations and react in a positive manner
- Do not only listen to them for the sake of listening but also think what if you would have been in the same situation, and react accordingly.
Your colleagues and peers are like your work family, and showing empathy is a great way to establish a strong bond.
People will not take you seriously or follow your command if your interactions with them seem a little off. You need to be confident in what you say. Being confident while you talk shows your team members that you really believe in what you are saying. Don’t sound aggressive or arrogant and avoid making statements that seem like questions.
Respect everyone for their roles and the ideas they share. A team incorporates different talents from different fields. So don’t assume that you are the best among them. When talking, use a person’s name and explain to everyone how he/she is important to do this particular task. This will not only make the person feel appreciated but also allows everyone to stay focused on the conversation.
How to Effectively Communicate with your Team?
It is not what you say but how you say it. A team that communicates well eliminates the possibilities of any misunderstanding and encourages a peaceful and healthy work environment.
Here are some ways to incorporate effective communication in the workplace with your team.
- Have open meetings with your team every week. This ensures that everybody is on the same page and clears out any misunderstandings if there are any.
- Email is a great communication medium for office settings that enables you to pass personalized messages to your colleagues.
- Some people understand better on a one-on-one basis. So talk to them!
- Avoid tense environments and create a receptive atmosphere.
- According to the seriousness of the work or topic, make your conversations. You don’t have to be serious all the time. Sometimes, light conversations do cheer up the workforce.
- Talk in a language that others understand. Use simple vocabulary and sentences. It doesn’t matter how you talk as long as others understand you clearly.
- Use visuals and presentations when communicating technical aspects of the work or project. This gives room for a better understanding.
- Always be humorous and a little sarcasm is okay to keep things relaxed. This is an effective way to dodge workload and tension.
The following are the benefits of good communication:
- Good communication will always result in a more productive and talented workforce which will ultimately lead to better business outcomes.
- Effective communication would improve client relationships which is another imperative aspect for growing your business.
- Communication plays a crucial role in employee engagement, allowing them to better align with company goals and objectives.
- Communicating effectively at the workplace reduces conflicts among employees and team members.
How to Improvise to Yield Better Results with Communication in the Workplace – the Dos and Don’ts
Workplace success requires a good deal of communication. It is the foundation of every interaction in today’s corporate world. In order to keep your communication skills at the workplace in top shape, you need to follow certain dos and don’ts of communication. Consider the following table to ensure that your messages are heard loud and clear by your colleagues.
|Do face to face||Don't interrupt|
|Do personalized conversation with the team members||Don't react or get upset|
|Do be respectful||Don't monopolize the conversation|
|Do paraphrase to ensure that everybody is on the same page||Don't use hard vocabulary and abbreviations|
|Do be clear and direct||Don't exaggerate|
Effective communication in the workplace is the cornerstone of team development, employee engagement, innovative thought processing, and company culture. Further, it is integral to maintaining client relationships and generating sales. Strong communication skills not only create a positive experience but also help leadership skills. As we referenced above, communication is the key to success, and everyone including the employers must work on polishing this skill.