In the workplace, communication is essential. Here’s how to get better:
Few things have a greater impact on workplace culture, productivity, and morale than communication.
Building effective communication skills as a manager provides significant short- and long-term benefits for your firm. An excellent communicator can inspire their team to accomplish more with better results and fewer misunderstandings. And who doesn’t desire fewer miscommunications?
All of these factors can contribute to the company’s success — as well as your own. Let’s look at different types of communication, why communication skills are crucial in the workplace (for your business and your personal career), and ways to improve your communication abilities.
Not all workplace communication is created equal. We’ve all sat through a long, dull meeting and thought to ourselves, “This should have been an email.” Varied modes of communication require different modes of delivery, and the sort of information communicated can improve from how it is received. A good communicator will have different skills and tools for different kinds of communication.
Leaders typically use one-way communication with their teams. The purpose of a memo concerning a new corporate policy or a change in direction may be to inform or update. Leaders frequently communicate in order to convince, motivate, and inspire dedication. They frequently communicate through stories rather than data.
Managers (and team members) are frequently required to communicate with their own boss as well as other leaders outside of their own chain of command. These could be memos/emails, reports, or a space in a standing meeting. These forms of communication, regardless of style, should be deemed more formal.
Because they are by definition brief, updates frequently fall well short of effective communication. Use a visual tracker or dashboard to carry the load, and save your spoken or written commentary for directing the audience’s attention to what is most important – often, what requires action or additional participation from them. Surprises, challenges, and potential threats, as well as victories, may be included.
For good reason, these formal communication events tend to get the most attention. They are typically aimed at a bigger audience and have higher stakes and purposes, such as informing, influencing, and persuading. Furthermore, many people are afraid of public speaking, and owing to TED and other programs, we have a high expectation for both entertainment and insight.
Meetings, large or small, are an important element of workplace communication. They are also one of the most misunderstood and misused modes of communication. Effective meetings foster teamwork and swiftly transmit information that would be difficult to understand in another format. The most effective meetings are extremely collaborative and leave attendees feeling motivated rather than fatigued.
Communication with clients can range from one-time to frequent, in-person, virtual, spoken, or written, formal to ad hoc. In general, all issues related to employee communication apply twice as much to customers. Be deliberate and arrange your messaging to deliver what your customer wants in the manner that they prefer while still creating a great impression of the organization and the product.
Informal communications include emails and chats that you use throughout the day to make requests, ask for information, answer to inquiries, and give or receive help and direction. These informal contacts include the secondary goals of forging social ties, fostering culture, establishing trust, and finding common ground, in addition to driving the organization’s work ahead. If you simply focus on the primary goal of a specific engagement, you may have inexplicable misunderstandings and missed chances.