The following is a guest post by Freddie Tubbs. Freddie Tubbs is a communication manager at Paper Fellows. He also works as a business writer at Academized and Australian Help and is a regular writer at the Vault magazine.
Communication skills are something we have to work on daily. It takes time and control but good communication is the key to any business. It doesn't matter if it's written or spoken – it's critical for any workplace to function effectively and properly.
Here are some tips on promoting effective communication in your workplace.
1. Be direct
Beating around the bush takes away precious time – it doesn't do anything of value. Instead, be effective and say what's on your mind right away. Make sure that you are understood and don't use complex words or jargon that no one will understand. Be clear and direct about what you want and need from your employees and bosses alike.
One of the key elements of communication is listening. Before you can make any decisions or give proper answers, you need to listen to people talking to you. This means that you should hear other people's ideas and stay away from dominating every meeting you enter. Keep an open door policy and let people who have a more 'hands-on' approach tell you what they think will be better for your business. When someone is talking to you, make sure that you are really paying attention to what they are saying.
3. Write accurate and clear business emails
One of the most important tools of business communication is inevitably emails. In order to promote good practices for email communication, you have to make them accurate and readable. Here are some tools to help with accurate and clear emails. .
- Via Writing is an online writing guide that can help you with your business email style and form that will impress anyone.
- Boom Essays and UK Writings are email editing and proofreading tools to allow you to have perfect grammar and spelling.
- My Writing Way is a guide that can give you tips on email writing and business communication.
- Big Assignments is a grammar checker that will scan your email for mistakes and eliminate them.
- Academ Advisor and Essay Roo are formatting tools and email subject line generators that will make your email readable and your subject line relevant and interesting.
4. Show respect
When speaking to someone, make sure that you are showing them respect. Don't look at the clock, don't check your messages, don't answer your phone and really focus on them and what they are saying. Be polite and kind to people and don't ignore them. When speaking to someone, use their name and maintain eye contact.
This is an important part of communication in your workplace. If there is no respect among team members then the conversation is not an option. Promote mutual respect and watch beneficial relationships grow in your office.
5. Be positive
No matter how stressful your life may be, always stay positive. This will get you through some tough times. It will also signal to people what kind of person you are and they'll be happy to work with you. Positivity and a good attitude is something that will attract good people and valuable conversations to you. This sets an example for all of your team members and they will inevitably follow your lead. All of this will create a better, less stressful environment for everyone and therefore promote efficiency and good work.
6. Be understanding
There may come a time when problems occur in your everyday business life. Your employees may make mistakes that will annoy you at first. But what you should do in these situations is take a deep breath and think about it for a minute. You were once just as inexperienced as some of your employees and you made similar mistakes. Those people are only human and things happen in their life that have some effect on their work. That's perfectly normal. Talk to them, try to get to the bottom of the situation and then devise a solution together. Understanding people are some of the most respected and most liked people in the workplace.
7. Don't criticize
Criticism leads to defensiveness and anger – this doesn't do any good for anyone. This is why you need to focus on positive criticism. Don't use negative words and don't attack people about their mistakes. Just relax and encourage trust. “If your team has performed wonderfully in one area but did a bit worse in the other, praise them for the good they did and encourage their creativity to find ways to get just as good in the other area. Attacking them over something isn't good or constructive”, - explains Kathleen Prout, a Communication Manager at Oxessays and Australian Help.
8. Avoid arguments
Arguments in the workplace never end well. This is why you should focus on avoiding them and finding solutions rather than picking on someone's faults. Encourage conversation and set an example for your entire workplace. Instead of letting two team members argue, for example, you can sit down with them, get to the bottom of the problem and find a solution that will suit both parties. Try to calm yourself down in stressful situations that entice arguments and solve all problems with talking to people. Fighting doesn't lead anywhere except bad mood and lousy environment for working.
9. Make your meetings more important
Meetings are often not that effective due to all the time spent on unimportant things. To fix this, set a schedule and talk about relevant topics and problems at hand. Let everyone speak if they believe they have something to contribute. You'll be amazed at how many great things can happen in a meeting if you schedule it properly. You can organize it so that you talk about some burning topics first and then move on to something else, such as brainstorming ideas for improvement. Sometimes, meetings can even be unnecessary if you can coordinate with everyone without them. Figure out what works for you and your company and use it.
Encouraging effective communication in a workplace is important. It can save a lot of time, spare you from unnecessary mistakes and confusion and entice better relationships between your team members and staff. Set an example by following these tips.