4 Points of Effective Workplace Communication
No matter your industry, the size of your company, or your role, effective communication is key to success. Without it miscommunication and misinterpretation can get in the way of even your most straightforward goals.
In order to safeguard your work and workplace relationships, it is important to practice the following aspects of effective communication:
1. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN IN THE SIMPLEST WAY POSSIBLE
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” While this might not apply to every discussion ever had, the main idea is important.
Conveying your ideas in a simple, direct, and concise way will make them easier for others to understand. If you are unable to communicate your idea in its simplest form, it will be reflected by how well others understand when they have the opportunity to speak.
Letting yourself become frustrated by others’ inability to understand what you mean is the easy way out. Keep in mind that while the communication gap could very well be the result of their inability to comprehend your idea, it is more likely due to ineffective communication.
2. LISTEN AND PROCESS WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Effective communication requires active listening. To make the most out of a discussion, you need to allow others to speak, actively process their ideas and how they relate to the topic or issue at hand.
This may seem like common sense to many, but the truth is that it rarely happens. The better you are at active listening, the more you will be able to understand where someone else might be coming from. And vice versa.
3. SEPARATE YOUR EMOTIONS FROM THE LARGER CONVERSATION
Workplace discussions can significantly affect an individual’s workload or general happiness at work. Many people have a tendency to allow their emotions to override the importance of communicating their ideas in a given conversation.
This makes a great deal of sense but, truthfully, it can get in the way. Putting your own emotions and ego before your ideas and those of others will prevent you from contributing to any kind of real discussion.
Being passionate about your ideas is by no means a weakness, but it can be distracting. Particularly if those emotions take precedence to the point of derailing an entire conversation. When that happens, everyone is left worse off than they were when the conversation began.
4. GIVE OTHERS A CHANCE TO LET YOU KNOW THEY UNDERSTAND
It can be easy to become sidetracked or frustrated if someone misses a key point or argument along the way. Each time you introduce a new idea or argument into the discussion, you can prevent this by pausing to allow others to demonstrate that they understand before moving forward.
Think about it, only you really know what is inside your brain. Getting others to understand exactly what’s going on in there depends on how well you can articulate that particular idea or concept. By making sure each party understands before the dialogue continues, you are ensuring the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
At the end of the day there are many actions you can take to improve communication in the workplace, but a lot of time it comes down to being respectful and treating one another’s ideas as valid and worthy of discussion.
Pay attention to what others are saying and make sure you’ve communicated your ideas clearly before allowing the discussion to get heated or sidetracked. You’ll be helping move your work environment toward peak efficiency and positivity.