Communication at work. The conscious process of exchanging information. That which we all need to relate to others. The same ability that allows us to share ideas with others. Because communicating is much more than talking. And talking means sharing the same language. And having the same language is necessary to achieve effective communication, which is why we embarked on this article.
Communication at work…
Communication at work is one of the main concerns in every company. Creating and maintaining a positive work environment is what effective communication at work is all about. Let’s find out how it can be done…
It has happened to all of us that when we are given a task or leave a meeting we have no idea what to do next. It’s quite common. According to statistics, 57% of employees say they have not received clear instructions and 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with employees in general. From the statistics, the need to improve communication at work is clear. But first things first:
What is communication at work?
Effective communication is important for success and happiness.
Communication at work is one of the signs of a high-performance culture. The exchange of information and ideas within an organization is called communication at work. However, effective communication occurs when a message is sent and received accurately. In all aspects of life (both professional and personal), effective communication is important for success and happiness. Effective communication in the workplace is critical to all business goals.
Have you ever wondered why your company is failing? What are the barriers to communication at work? Find out this and much more in the following lines…
Why is communication at work so important?
- Avoids confusion
- Provides purpose
- Builds a positive company culture
- Creates accountability
Improving communication at work starts at the top of the company to meet its goals. Often, effective workplace communication is what distinguishes a good leader from an excellent one. Communication at work defines the organization’s goals and helps colleagues collaborate. It is a step toward a fundamental business practice for an engaged and productive workforce. Studies show that, companies ranked communication skills as twice as important as managerial skills. Did you know?
These are the skills employers are looking for most in new hires, ranked in terms of priority:
- Oral communication
- Written communication
- Public speaking
It is critical to measure communication to see what works and what doesn’t, and adjust accordingly. Communication at work is important for growth and success. It allows everyone to share their opinions and points of view and therefore feel that their ideas are valued.
So… How to improve communication at work?
Workplace communication starts with the individual, but it doesn’t stop there. Work culture, technology and protocols can influence the effectiveness of communication in the workplace.
Do you want an effective work environment? Communication at work is the key
Working in a comfortable and positive environment can motivate and encourage you to come to the office every day and produce quality work. It is important to take the time to create an environment where you feel safe to complete your work. By organizing your work area, managing tasks properly, and maintaining on-the-job communication with your team members, you can create a productive work environment.
Why is it important to improve your work environment?
- Improving your work environment is important because it allows you to feel more efficient, productive and motivated.
- Safeguarding your environment through communication at work and developing a positive atmosphere can make you feel more enthusiastic about attending work and completing projects.
- In addition, improving your work environment also helps employees feel more empowered and focused, which can increase morale for everyone in the office.
Tips to achieve it…
It is good to talk. Communication at work and in any aspect of life manages to establish the best situations and stable aspects ever considered, and the fact is that communicating is a process of construction, development and evolution. There is no doubt about this. But how often does effective communication occur in the workplace? Even when we have the best intentions, things can get in the way, the message can get lost in translation, or sometimes it can seem like no one is listening. Getting your message across clearly and quickly and having positive, productive conversations can have a big impact on business success.
What hinders effective communication? 5 barriers to communication at work
You are about to begin a joint journey into the world of communication.
Do you know why it’s important for work? Because it helps employees understand what is expected of them, coordinate their efforts and solve problems. It facilitates teamwork by allowing members to communicate with each other and share information. Sometimes, however, communication encounters some barriers that hinder its effectiveness:
- Confusing messages. Falling into the temptation of ambiguous concepts can generate confusing messages in the receiver.
- Inappropriateness. It is not always appropriate to carry out your messages. Avoid doing so in times of stress.
- Lack of empathy. Be empathetic at the moment of launching your messages, take into account other people’s feelings.
- Silence. Silence is sometimes necessary, but employees appreciate it when you tell them what is not going well.
- Physical barriers. Consider if any of your employees or colleagues are hard of hearing, if there is too much noise from the environment, etc.
Everyone says communication is good, but few people pay full attention to it. However, we need to communicate to express concerns, appreciation or simply to relate to each other.
Do you want to improve your employees’ communication? Apply these coaching tips…
If communication is so important, why don’t we take more interest in it? Is it a skill we take for granted? Do we think we know everything about it?
Communication in business is a basic pillar with so much power that it can contribute to success or failure. Any strategy depends on how communication is developed, because it is not only spoken words, but also behavior. There are people who talk a lot, but communicate very little. And vice versa. Without talking, you can communicate a lot, because communication is not about leaving, it is about arriving.
As human beings, we have a series of difficulties in reaching others. Part of our human condition makes it difficult for us to connect with others because we are focused on ourselves. As a result, we do not listen and tend to seek our own space.
How to deal with these difficulties? Pay attention to the following tips based on coaching as a tool to promote communication in the team:
- Be clear in everything you communicate.
- Encourage two-way communication.
- Develop collaboration and cooperation skills.
- Ask questions to ensure that what you say is understood.
- Practice active listening and clarify any confusion.
- Be empathetic with others.
- Be concise and avoid technical language.
- Take care of problems, no matter how minor.
- Watch your body language.
- Find ways to improve communication with the team.
- Be true to the facts.
- Ask others to express their opinions whenever necessary.
- Know where to communicate and on what topics.
- Use an appropriate tone of voice.
Communication at work is not just talking to colleagues. It’s team meetings, individual evaluation sessions, collaboration with other departments and everything you express nonverbally.
Ways to improve communication at work:
Work on individual communication skills.
Communicating effectively with co-workers is critical to having a positive communication experience at work. If you are trying to strengthen your communication skills as an individual, here are some things to keep in mind when interacting with co-workers, leaders or employees:
Pay attention to nonverbal cues.
Tone and body language can convey much more than words and can go a long way toward communication at work. When talking to someone, pay attention to your tone and body language and that of your conversation partner. Tone can be harder to discern in text-based communications. If you’re having a hard time understanding someone’s email or chat communication, suggest an alternative method such as video conferencing or meeting in person.
Communication in the workplace goes both ways. Practice active listening by internalizing what you hear and paying attention to the intent and emotion behind what you are being told.
Provide constructive feedback
Being part of a team means that everyone’s work should be respected. If you provide feedback, maintain a balance between what works and what can be improved. Feedback can make or break communication at work.
Participate in meetings
Come to meetings prepared, reviewing the agenda or previous notes to understand what will be discussed and start thinking about how you can contribute. Pay attention to what is being said, take notes if necessary, asking pertinent questions.
Understanding which method to use
Not every issue deserves its own meeting. When you have something to communicate, consider its importance, urgency and complexity, and choose the right channel accordingly. Do you have a simple reminder for the team? A quick group message or email can get the point across. Need to learn or teach someone how to use a tool? A face-to-face meeting may be the best method. It may be a good idea to establish team-wide practices for when to use each communication channel at work.
If your workplace needs some technology upgrades, consider approaching your boss to see if the organization is willing to invest in some. A host of chat platforms, email providers and video conferencing tools can significantly improve the flow of communication at work.
Make meetings efficient
Studies indicate that only 50 percent of time spent in meetings is considered a good use of time by attendees. The good news? There are likely several ways to improve the way meetings work in your organization to optimize communication at work. Here are some best practices for efficient and effective meetings:
- Establish an agenda and objectives for each meeting. Try to avoid recycling agendas.
- Send the agenda and other materials to be discussed to the team in advance so people have a chance to review them.
- Invite only the people who should be invited.
- Consider whether a meeting is the best way to communicate something in the first place.
- Cancel a meeting if it is not necessary.
- Make sure the technical team is functioning ahead of time.
- Start and end meetings on time.
- Hand out meeting notes afterwards.
Good communication is key at work
Talking to others is not easy. Especially if they are people with whom we share our daily lives. However, words are that necessary vehicle to understand each other and express what we think. All those barriers to communication at work that prevent us from connecting with others are a shield so that no one notices what we feel or think.
Therefore, we should not take our emotions for granted. Communication is not a coded message. Not saying what we think to the rest of our colleagues for fear of being wrong, avoiding asking for forgiveness so as not to appear weak… There are many occasions when we put up a fence that others cannot jump over.
On the contrary, when we learn to communicate assertively and empathetically, when we acquire communication skills and put them into practice, everything changes.
- Coordination and fluency in human relations in the company improves.
- Productivity and task efficiency increase.
- We feel satisfied with our job.
- We reduce conflicts and misunderstandings with other colleagues.
All this requires active listening, awareness, respect, clarification of doubts and feedback. The keys to good communication at work lie in listening, clarity and respect, but the way to achieve this can be through coaching. It is the one who allows leaders or employees to become aware of how their verbal and non-verbal communication is. It helps them to become aware of how they communicate even if they do not say a single word (through gestures, emotions and body state).
The leader or employee learns from coaching to listen actively and empathetically. Become aware of the importance of silences in conversation. We rarely pay attention to silence, and yet, as with music, the key to communication is to master the space between the notes, between the words. It is curious to discover how where there is nothing is the key to understanding where everything is. Coaching also helps you learn the importance of asking rather than answering, and to receive feedback from humility, generating commitment through interaction with others.
It is not magic, it is a skill developed through awareness and emotional intelligence. Request more information at ChVmpionMind and break down the barriers to communication at work that hinder growth.
Here are ten of the best tips for effective communication at work
Hold face-to-face meetings
It’s easier to communicate your passion and how you feel to your team through open meetings than by email. By meeting face-to-face, people will not only hear what you are saying, but they will also see you and feel you. This approach to concrete communication at work remains one of the best for communicating effectively with a team and getting the best results from it.
Know your audience
Target your message according to the needs and interests of your people; do some research if necessary. Listen carefully during the discussion. Ask questions to make sure you understand where people are coming from. Communication at work is key to improving the work environment, but it works best if you know who your audience is.
Create a receptive environment
A receptive atmosphere will help you communicate much more effectively. Avoid a tense environment at all costs because when you communicate too intensely, your message may not be understood or retained well. Communication at work brings many benefits, but the environment that fosters it must also be ideal.
Don’t just hear: Listen too
Communication at work is a complete process. Listening is an important communication skill that not everyone has. Many conflicts in meetings are caused by poor listening. To share information with others, you need to hear what is being communicated. To learn to listen well, paraphrase what was said to show that you are listening and to check that you heard correctly. Active listening is an excellent mechanism for this.
Combine verbal and nonverbal communication
Make sure your verbal and nonverbal communication messages are in agreement. If you use positive nonverbal comments, such as nodding your head when someone is speaking, accompanied by an open body posture, you will help the conversation flow more smoothly and encourage colleagues to participate more freely in the discussion. Communication at work should be comfortable and should allow everyone to feel safe to intervene.
Use silence as a conversational tool
People feel uncomfortable when there is silence. They try to fill in the blanks, but not always with useful or relevant comments. Don’t panic when it quiets down. Take a deep breath, stay calm and take advantage of the silences with confidence. Communication at work works like an everyday conversation. Pausing at the right time will allow you to emphasize important information and make sure everyone is listening.
Identify potential conflicts and handle them with diplomacy.
Try and identify potential sources of conflict early in the meeting or conversation. Communication at work should be an ongoing process of analysis to prevent tense situations. If you feel that someone has misunderstood something that is being communicated, talk to them as quickly as possible to prevent it from becoming a distraction or escalating into a crisis. Handle conflict with an open mind and refrain from personal attacks.
Manage time effectively
Time can have a big impact on how your messages are received. Before you schedule a meeting, make sure it’s the right time. Choosing the right time for a discussion can be as important as what you have to say. Communication in the workplace merits planning for optimal execution.
Offer positive feedback
Providing positive feedback is an excellent way to improve communication at work. It also helps people view you in a more favorable light, builds trust, and encourages open communication. Having an overall positive attitude at work will also open the door to effective communication that prompts people to respond to you more favorably.
Reaching a satisfactory conclusion
Keep an eye out for signs that the other person is ready to end the conversation or move on to another topic. Communication at work is an arduous process of intuition. Be sure to end the meeting on a positive note. First impressions are important, but people tend to remember the last thing that was said or done the longest.