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Communication Tips For the Workplace

By Lisa Woods (1057 words)
Posted in Communication Skills on May 3, 2012

There are (11) comments permalink

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At work, at home, in social settings, with friends or colleagues, your ability to communicate defines who you are to those around you.  Are you shy, outgoing, a trivia fanatic, a news junkie, a sports enthusiast, the guy who loves to hear the sound of his own voice, or the gal that never seems to get to the point?  We all have people in our lives that we can put into these buckets.  And we all think we know which bucket people would put us into.  But how do you know for sure?  Are you a good communicator?

 

Good communication is not something that you judge; it is something that you aspire to achieve.  Here are six communication tips for the workplace to improve your communication skills:

 

Communication Tip #1)   Create an environment where people feel comfortable. 

Social awkwardness is a reality for everyone; so make an effort, no matter how uncomfortable you are, to help ease the tension around you.  This activity will make you feel comfortable too, really, it takes the pressure off of you, makes others feel comfortable, and gives you confidence to move forward with a positive dialog.  You can do this by being first to approach others, shaking hands, asking how their day is going, sharing a tasteful personal story, or by making an upbeat and positive joke about yourself.  By doing this you are setting the stage for an open and comfortable dialog for all parties.  No, you won’t lose face as the room’s clown, you will however, be appreciated as the leader of the group.

 

Communication Tip #2)   Listen to what others are saying; not the voice in your head.

You don’t want to be that guy that spends time thinking of what he will say next instead of listing to what is being said now.  Nobody will want to hang out with you, or work with you, for that matter.  Instead, be curious about others.  Try to understand what they are saying.  In order to understand them accurately, ask questions related to what they said. 

 

Communication Tip #3)   Express your thoughts in the form of a response.

When you actively listen to others, you can phrase your comments in reference to the current conversation.  Show that you are paying attention to others and they will pay attention to what you have to say too.  You would be amazed how interesting a conversation can become when you actually allow dialog to build from one thought to the next.

 

Communication Tip #4)   Engage others with YOUR perspective, not THE perspective. 

Keep an open mind.  You may have a great philosophy, or idea that you want to share, but make sure you communicate it as your opinion, not an absolute fact.  If you come across as always being right, others may stop paying attention to you because they don’t feel you are interested in their point of view.

 

Communication Tip #5)   Never repeat your point of view in the same conversation.

You want to get your ideas across, but if the other person does not understand or agree, repeating what you just said is not going to convince them.  You should always refresh and rephrase your thoughts to present them a different way.  Maybe you were not clear the first time, or the second.  It is your responsibility to communicate so that you can be understood.  If the person you are speaking with does not understand you, that is because you have not figured out the best way to communicate your message…OR…your message is not as good as you think it is.

 

Communication Tip #6)   Invite others to add value to your ideas.

Make an effort to include ideas from other people in your conversation and help them communicate it to the group.  If you have an idea that you want to discuss, have it be the starting point of the discussion, but anticipate that the topic will evolve.  Your role is to facilitate the process of communicating in the workplace and having others adding value to what you started.  If you keep this mindset, people will gravitate to you, your ideas and your perspective.

 

In the end, getting your point across is a two way process that probably requires you to step out of your comfort zone.  By making a conscious effort to incorporate these six ways to improve your communication skills in both your work and personal discussions, you will see a marked improvement in your ability to communicate effectively.  Remember, this is an ongoing effort…good luck!

 

 

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Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.

 

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Comments (11)

Eric posted on: May 4, 2012

Great article!

Exequiel Santillan posted on: July 17, 2012

Thank you it is worth the time.

Valerie de Rothschild posted on: July 17, 2012

Sometimes it's best to speak directly to the topic instead of wasting time addressing diversions.

Steve 'dougal' campbell posted on: July 17, 2012

Excellent article! I totally agree with the whole philosophy that effective communication is all about the 'other' person and making them feel valued! A crucial point very well made by Lisa.

Dianna Booher posted on: July 19, 2012

Lisa, I liked your tip #5: Never repeat your point of view twice in the same conversation. A colleague of mine seems to think that if he keeps the broken-record going that eventually everyone in the group will eventually agree with him.

Megan Owen posted on: July 20, 2012

Some great tangible tips. 'piggy backing' an idea, if it's someone else's, is a constructive way to build upon and develop an idea in a constructive, collaborative way. Also, continuing a discussion point offline, is a good way of negating an unnecessary impasse if ego is in the way around a table. Diplomacy is a good basis for conversation but few learn the art. Respectful listening, thanking for contributions and insight, and adding value through idea and insight.

Goetz Mueller posted on: September 1, 2012

#7: Join Toastmasters (covering all 6)

Anne Ponton posted on: September 3, 2012

Very good article, thanks for sharing!

I would add a 7th way: think and act positively.
Positive Energy is the opposite of money: the more you spend, the more you have, and the more you communicate to others.
When you are positive, people feel eager to build with you and your message gets across a lot more smoothly as the audience becomes positive as well. People feel open, proactive and creative when they are positive. So, all in all, they openly share with you as much as you communicate with them.

Angela Tronetti posted on: September 5, 2012

I enjoyed reading this article. I find that I need to be careful with #4 "Engage others with YOUR perspective, not THE perspective."

I am very clear about my goals and very direct when it comes to communication that people may feel that my opinion is the only opinion, but I do not feel that way personally. It may be off-putting to some.

I also need to be careful with #5 "Never repeat your point of view in the same conversation."

I do want to get my ideas across, but sometimes I feel that I am not representing my opinion correctly and repeat my point of view. It is not necessarily to convince them that my opinion is right. Most of the time, I want to verify that I was understood. I do try to rephrase my thoughts and present them in a different way in hopes of clarifying the confusion.

Krishna posted on: March 26, 2013

Thank you so much for this beautiful tips on communications skills I know its gonna work for me. Now you can visit on http://communicationintheworkplace.com.au/

nanang posted on: May 10, 2013

great article and very good tips

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