Communication is something that we do at work daily. Talking to colleagues and sending emails to our bosses are common in the workplace. But, have we been communicating effectively? We have become too familiar with these that we begin to neglect the need for effective communication. If you are looking to put an end to those unnecessary misunderstandings and unhealthy conflicts that arise among colleagues. Effective workplace communication is the key! Communication comprises of 3 main components: words, tone and body language. It is important to give attention to these when communicating with our colleagues.
- Choice of words
Your words can be used to encourage, enrich, scold or criticise others. We want to use the right words so that we don’t cause arguments to take place in the workplace. How you phrase your sentence will also affect how other interpret it. So do think before you speak!
- Check for errors (especially in emails)
Read through your email to check for errors (such as grammar and punctuation) before sending. Such minor errors can cause messages to be misinterpreted.
- Be careful with the tone used
It pays to be careful with the tone that you use when speaking. Your tone can show if you are sincere and polite or demanding and rude. It is a little tad more difficult when it comes to online platforms like email. What you meant as a joke may be interpreted otherwise. So, ensure that your message is clear. Do remember to end your email with a ‘Thank You’ or ‘Have a Nice Day’. Ending an email abruptly might cause people to think that you are being aloof.
Body language can reveal more of our thoughts than our words. For instance, your colleague may say that he understands the task but his facial expression may have betrayed him. Be alert to pay attention to body language (gestures and facial expressions).
To listen is more than just to hear. Listen attentively to what your colleague has to say even before thinking of your reply. Display active listening through your body language. Maintaining eye contact and nodding your head can show the other party your agreement or understanding. Take steps to improve your communication skills and see a better workplace!
This article first appeared on TBC HR Consulting’s website at www.tbchr.com
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