Good communication plays a vital role in the performance of any organisation. Communication has been likened to lifeblood in the human body because it keeps the whole body functioning properly. Good communication is essential when it comes to delegating tasks, working as a team, and showing effective leadership.
All managers have an important role in helping to foster good communication in the workplace. Positive communication helps to express and receive ideas and message correctly with no misunderstanding. It is also essential to remember that in the digital age, communication isn’t just limited to the verbal message. E-mail, social media, and websites are all areas where good communication is vital.
It is an art to communicate effectively leaving no room for ambiguity. Just like an artist has many tools at his disposal, so there are many ways to communicate. Each tool has its own purpose and when used correctly can help to get your message over correctly.
Let’s look at the top 6 tools that are at your disposal to improve the art of communication in the workplace.
Good communication starts with listening because it helps you understand the needs and wants of the other person. Also, when the other person feels that you are really listening, they may be more inclined to open up more. This, in the end, will help you get a clearer picture and provide the best solution.
There are many ways to listen actively. These include asking questions, rephrasing what the other person has said, and paying close attention.
Communication is an art to get your message over in a clear and concise manner. This means talking enough to be understood but not rambling on and on. Your goal is so that the other person understands exactly what you are trying to say. Speaking too much can burry good ideas and thoughts in a mountain of words and end up confusing your listeners.
Communicating in a concise way just as important when talking face to face, on the telephone, via video conferencing, or by e-mail.
Managers should also avoid being impersonal or unfriendly if they want to improve the art of communication. Having a friendly manner when speaking with your team will foster a spirit of openness and encourage honest communication. So, greeting colleagues with a friendly smile and a personal (but not too personal) question can help to improve communication skills.
Also, don’t forget to have a friendly tone when writing e-mails or speaking on the telephone.
Appropriate eye contact can also help develop your communication skills. If you are constantly looking around you, checking your watch, or looking over their shoulder, your colleague will quickly discern you are not interested.
When speaking with someone, maintain eye contact and pay attention with your eyes. You will also be able to pick up on some non-verbal signals that can give more insight into what is being said.
As a manager, it’s important to respect those who are your subordinates if you want to communicate effectively. Respect while communicating involves actively listening, keeping good eye contact, and acknowledging the other person’s ideas.
Even when you disagree with what is being said, respect will help you to be empathetic with your employee. Even a simple phrase like, “I see where you are coming from because…” can show respect to the other person.
Just like an artist has plenty of tools at his disposal to create a masterpiece, so there are many different tools to help communicate well. So, it’s important to use the right form of communication that is appropriate to the message.
So, for serious conversations, usually, a face-to-face meeting is the best idea. For less important matters, a busy employee will usually appreciate receiving an e-mail or quick telephone call about the matter.