Whether at work, at home, or at school, communication plays a significant role in our ability to accomplish our objectives. More often than we’d like to admit, however, miscommunication occurs. Take, for example, missed deadlines, upset family members, or even the wrong food in a takeout order. If there was ever a place miscommunication could thrive, it’s at the office. Consider the various meetings, phone calls, emails, and lunches we engage in everyday. The following hints will enable employees to successfully navigate workplace communication:
- Be aware of mindset: “It’s not just your words that convey a message,” writes Karen Friedman in an article by Forbes, “it’s all of you.” Arbinger teaches us that our mindset is deeper and more powerful than our words when we are in communication with others. If we are focused on ourselves, the impact of our communication will be much less effective and often won’t produce the results we desire. On the other hand, if we strive to value the perspectives of others as we communicate, we will find clarity and a much better chance of achieving our results, as we will be better equipped to collaborate.
- Know your audience: With our mindset focused on others, it’s important that we take notice of the communication methods that elicit the best response from individuals. Do they respond better to emails, printed-out materials, notes, or office stop-bys? By discerning how to communicate with others in the ways that are most helpful to them, a new fluidity begins to guide our interactions.
- Who, what, when, where, why: When a need arises in an organization, it is essential to communicate that need with the detail we often hear in a news report. Friedman also illustrates the importance of such detailed communication through the following example: “Bosses often say, ‘Can you have that report to me? It’s really important, and I’d really like to have it,’” Friedman shares. A more effective way to deliver that message: “Can you please get that report to me? I’d like it on my desk by 5 p.m. Friday.” It is absolutely critical to be as direct, to the point and concise as possible in order to successfully communicate with those around us.