How to Improve Workplace Communication

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Workplace communication can influence an organization’s productivity, efficiency, and employee morale. Communication is vital in an office but most people tend to be vague. Vagueness leads to misunderstandings and makes it difficult to get things done correctly the first time. Workplace communication in this context refers to various skills including listening, speaking, writing, and reading. Effective workplace communication ensures that everything runs smoothly. It also helps to promote consistency and establish a positive environment. Once an organization identifies communication problems, there are various measures that can be taken to address them. Here are valuable tips that can be applied in different office settings to enhance workplace communication. Be Clear and Direct Information that is conveyed during workplace communication has to be clear and direct. Avoid ambiguity. This applies for both written and spoken communication. An organization has to identify a specific language that each employee can understand. Words that have more than one meaning should be avoided. Listen Actively Workplace communication can often lead to misunderstandings if parties involved do not listen actively. Active listening involves making a deliberate effort to hear what is being communication. It includes hearing the words and body language used. Employees should be encouraged to hear what is being said. Workplace communication tends to fail when employees think about their response or interrupt another person as they try to convey a message. Effective communication is not possible without active listening. Encourage Face-to-Face Workplace Communication A lot is lost in translation when employees are communicating by email, chats, and telephone. This is because the parties involved do not have an opportunity to see non-verbal cues from the person they are communicating with. Facial expressions and voice tone can communicate a lot. Difficult information should be done directly. This is especially important if questions are likely to arise during workplace communication. Communicate Respectfully Respect is vital during workplace communication. It helps to prevent misunderstandings and makes it easy for the parties to listen to one another. Respect can be demonstrated by addressing individuals by name and making eye contact. It is also necessary to show that you comprehend the message through gestures. If the communication is written, the message should be reread a few times to prevent misinterpretation. During phone conversation, it is advisable to focus on the call instead of trying to multitask. Use the Right Medium The success of workplace communication can be determined by the type of medium that is used to pass the message. Employees should be encouraged to use a medium that allows them to express themselves better. Some people prefer to write messages while others are better at phone conversations. The message that is being delivered also determines the kind of medium that should be used. When you need to communicate, determine if the message will be delivered better when it is written or spoken. Its content and the receiver should influence the medium used. Match Communication with Target Audience Each audience requires a different style of workplace communication. Suppliers, clients, colleagues, supervisors, and management cannot be approached in the same way. When speaking to a manager, it is essential to select the most appropriate time. Schedule an appointment if necessary. It is also important to consider their capacity to deliver what you want. When communicating with colleagues, the message has to be direct. An open-minded approach is valuable when communicating with employees. For clients and suppliers, it is important to listen carefully and provide a solution. Depersonalize Conflicts Opinions vary and this can be a source of conflicts during workplace communication. The best way to improve communication is by depersonalizing conflicts. You do not have to agree on an issue. However, this should not be taken personally. A professional approach is advisable to make sure employees understand that they are working towards the same goals. When you understand that you have similar interests in a matter, it helps to enhance productivity. Practice Patience Workplace communication requires patience. The different personalities in an office setting can lead to conflicts if you are not patient. If you make a suggestion, make sure the receiver understands what you are saying. You should also be ready to repeat your message more than once. It is easier to communicate when you practice patience instead of reacting. Avoid Interrupting Interrupting someone as they speak is considered disrespectful even when you do not support what they are saying. Allow individuals to convey their message before you offer feedback. If the idea that is proposed is not applicable, you should critique it instead of attacking the individual. Clarify Messages Workplace communication can be improved if employees clarify the messages they get. If you are not sure about the message you have received, get clarification from the sender. It is possible to miss an important detail or focus on something that other receivers have forgotten. Workplace communication can only be successful if all the parties involved are on the same page. Everyone should understand the message in the same way. Be Specific Specificity can help to prevent missed deadlines and misunderstanding. If a supervisor asks for a report to be handed in early, it is not clear whether this is within a few hours or the next day. It is important to include specific details that can make a significant difference such as dates, times, and venues. Have the Right Attitude The right attitude is essential if you want to enhance workplace communication. You may not like some of the people that you communicate with in the workplace but this should not compromise the way you convey your messages and respond to them. Think of them as essential players in both your personal and company’s success. Conclusion Workplace communication is essential for a company’s success but it is often overlooked. Good communication in an office can create a positive working environment that promotes productivity and efficiency. Workplace communication can be improved but this can only happen once the problems have been identified. Effective communication involves being direct and clear and asking for clarification. The right attitude is also significant because it helps to prevent you from making assumptions about other people. Workplace communication has to be specific to achieve desired results.
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog