Effective communication in the workplace can reduce unnecessary errors and increase employee performance. When employees communicate well with each other and consider the views of others within their team, they can find the best solution together. As such, with the ability to communicate effectively in the workplace, employees can boost overall productivity.
It is important for employees to have the ability to communicate effectively with their superiors and colleagues in person as well as virtually. The following are 8 communication skills that improve your performance at work. By working on developing these skills, you can create stronger working relationships.
Communication is about more than talking. In fact, when communicating in the workplace, listening is often more important so that you can understand the task and your role in completing it. Practising active listening is one of the most effective ways to improve your communication skills. Active listening is made up of three key elements; paying attention to what the other person is saying, asking clarifying questions, and reiterating what the person has said to demonstrate understanding.
Empathy involves the ability to identify and understand feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person. While one may not always agree with the other party, they can demonstrate empathy through using words that indicate that they have listened to what the other person has said and that they respect the point of view. Using words and phrases such as “I want to make sure I understand” can indicate that you respect the other person’s opinion.
When a person comes across as friendly, others feel more comfortable communicating openly with them. There are different ways people can appear to be polite, friendly and approachable in their workplaces, such as speaking with a welcoming tone, asking personal questions, or smiling during face-to-face interactions. As for written communications such as emails, personalising the content can make the recipient feel valued. For example, you may write a quick note at the start of the email, “I hope the week is going great so far for you”
Confidence gives colleagues and managers reassurance that you believe in yourself and what you are saying, and that you will follow through on it. Try not to be over-confident, as this can come across as arrogance, which has the opposite effect. Instead, simply make eye contact with the person you are communicating with, use a tone that is firm but friendly, and avoid making statements sound like questions.
5. Non-verbal cues
Non-verbal cues such as body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone of voice all impact communication and indicate how a person is feeling. For effective communication, a relaxed, open stance is recommended. In addition, ensure you are maintaining eye contact to show the person that you are paying attention to what they are saying.
When people feel respected, they are more likely to be open to communication. In person, you can show respect by using the person’s name, maintaining eye contact, and actively listening. Avoid distractions when talking on the phone to ensure you remain focused on the conversation and check that emails are well-written and free from errors to ensure the recipient feels respected.
Open-mindedness is the key to good conversation. Ensure you are listening and taking the time to understand what the other person is saying. In instances where you do not agree with the other person’s point of view, don’t shy away from communicating. Rather, ensure you listen and respond with respect so that you can have honest, productive conversations.
The ability to give and receive feedback is crucial for workplace communication. Managers and supervisors should regularly give employees helpful and constructive feedback. This feedback shouldn’t always be negative or focused on improvement areas. Giving positive feedback is also a great way to increase motivation. For employees, it is important to listen to feedback and be able to accept negative feedback at work by asking questions about the issue and suggesting ways to fix it.
Cahoot Learning’s ‘Communicate with Impact’ program aims to equip learners with practical skills and confidence to communicate with impact in virtual and face-to-face scenarios.
In the program, learners develop an ability to foster and maintain trust in collaboration, communicate and present with clarity and brevity, deliver presentations using key voice techniques such as pace, pitch and volume and develop their communication strategy, including their presence online. Get in touch with us to find out more about how the program can benefit you.