In the workplace, whether you’re a manager or an employee, positive and efficient communication on the job is crucial. Every action, word, mistake, and even lack of communicating will mean something to the other party. They will be interpreted based off of their own experiences and that could mean getting exactly what you wanted or something near apocalyptic disaster. So how can you start improving those skills needed?
Nonverbal communication can be just as important as verbal. Approaching coworkers with a smile and being relaxed is more likely to create a positive response than if you were rigid and unapproachable. Meet their eyes with yours and pay attention to how the other person is responding to you. Are they comfortable? Is what you’re doing helping or hurting the situation? Then, if you do speak, watch your tone and keep it respectful and friendly.
Constructive criticism is a part of everyday life though often given and received poorly. While it is important to stay honest, stray from being too forward and being mean to whoever you are trying to help. Everyone learned the “Compliment Sandwich” in school. Sandwich the bad thing with the good that the person accomplished during the task. After saying what it was that needs work, mentions some tips and strategies for handling the job in the desired way. If you’re the one receiving the feedback, refrain from personalizing the criticism. It’s not supposed to be an attack on you as a person. The feedback is meant to change a result that your action did, so take it as beneficial mentoring to better your workplace environment.
If you think the constructive criticism you received was incorrect, bring that up but before doing so, understand the situation from their side. Determine whether the source of the feedback is actually positive by keeping an open mind about their job as well as your own. This is about you learning from your mistakes and making the workplace better.
In the end, practice makes perfect and if you are in a decision-making role, set up exercises so to strengthen intra-office communication. One such thing is for the addition of communication skills in the employee training programs. Another is to periodically hold team-building exercises. This will creatively speed up how your employees work with each other by allowing them to figure out the best way to communicate and solve problems. Also, by promoting the people who communicate most effectively, you can set the bar for employee performance. Just remember that you have to be one of the best communicators if you expect others to do it too.
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