Effective Workplace communication small business
business colleagues preparing for business meeting image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com
Advances in technological communication stymie an individual’s ability to connect on a personal level with co-workers and present barriers because they remove much of the necessary information, such as body language, speaking cadence and tone. Effective workplace communication is based on interpersonal, professional relationships that are developed through a keen awareness of courtesy, attentive listening, active participation and situation appropriate body language.
Identifying Workplace Communication Obstacles
The most common workplace communication barriers are non-attentive listening, interrupting others, inappropriate reaction, jumping to conclusions, failure to recognize body language synchronicity and gender differences. The first four barriers are self explanatory, not listening, acting disproportionately to a situation or information, and making a judgment before having all the information. Most persons are aware these are negative actions in the workplace. However, the last two are more subtle.
To be more effective in your workplace communication, you must be conscious of how you are presenting yourself. For instance, body language synchronicity means having your actions match your words and tone. In addition, recognizing and accepting that women and men communicate differently; women gesticulate more to demonstrate what they are saying and use more words then men when communicating.
Networking And Personal Contact
Networking in your workplace is essential to effective communication. You should attempt to speak with co-workers not in your department as often as possible to learn more about the company. This will in turn, make you more interesting and reflect to your manager or supervisor that you are professionally invested in the company. Moreover, it will allow you to expand you’re ability to communicate outside your department’s jargon.
Related Reading: Effective Communication Between Workplace Peers
Attitude And Demeanor
Your attitude and demeanor should be courteous, clear and consistent. Being courteous gives others the impression that you care and have an investment in the professional relationship. When asking a co-worker for advice or assistance, use the phrase “would you please” rather than just “please” and always show gratitude to promote rapport and convey parity.
Asking follow up questions such as “Have I explained this clearly?” instead of “Do you understand” builds trust and reflects consistency in parity and rapport. This also helps to foster clarity, lessening miscommunication.
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