Posted on May 2016 By Speller International
Communication is a crucial part of any relationship, whether personal or professional. But how do we ensure we’re communicating well at work? Read on to find out.
1. A two-way street
Communication is not just about talking, but it’s not just about listening, either. It’s a combination of both: communication is an exchange, not a one-way deposit of information.
2. Play to the crowd
Sometimes you need to adjust your communication style to your audience, for example leaving out the acronyms or ‘office jargon’ when talking to colleagues, clients or stakeholders outside of your team so they can properly understand what you are explaining.
3. Make sure you’re understood
Ask questions to ensure you properly understand something and, if you are providing the information, ask questions to ensure you have been understood. When doing this, try asking if you explained clearly, rather than whether the other person understood, to avoid sounding aggressive or blaming. People can be afraid to speak up in certain situations, such as a group meeting. Always give people the option to talk/call/email you afterwards to if they have any questions.
4. More than words
Body language plays an important role in communication. Having open body language (not crossing your arms, making eye contact) will make you appear more approachable and show that you are interested in what they are saying.
5. Wait your turn
Even if you disagree with what someone is saying, extend the courtesy of letting them finish before saying your piece. Try not to pass judgment before you have all the information – maybe if you had waited five minutes longer, you might find that your concerns were addressed.
6. Watch your tone
Using the appropriate tone of voice can be key in conveying your message. The same word using a different tone can have very different meanings. If they are in the negative, you might be misunderstood and accidentally offending someone
7. Keep it brief
Be direct in your communication without being abrasive. Skirting around the issue, using long-winded explanations, or a lack confidence in what you are saying can lose your audience’s interest.
It’s a fact: a lack of communication can lead to failure. Whether you’re talking to a teammate, someone reporting to you or someone above you, communicating clearly and respectfully is one of the best things you can do to ensure your project’s success.