Has communication difficulty at work ever hindered you?
Imagine the scenario: you apply for a job in another area. Let’s say it’s a website about women’s health. But you weren’t able to engage the person in that conversation when explaining, and some details were lost in the exchange. The result: the site features pictures of babies. And you need to show it to your boss in 1 minute.
Everyone has a tragic story of when communication at work failed and was still detrimental to our performance.
On the other hand, have you ever thought that mastering the way we communicate can make us outstanding professionals? No wonder this skill has become the most valued by contractors, according to LinkedIn’s global survey.
So, let’s better reflect on the importance of communication in the workplace? Oh, and this article also has lots of practical tips and tools for you to improve the way you communicate. Let’s go!
The importance of communication at work
You may not understand anything that your colleague from Quantum Metaphysical Engineering (100% invented position) does. Maybe he doesn’t understand his attributions either.
But often you need to come up with solutions together. One way or another, they need to have effective communication to achieve positive results.
And that goes for every interaction that takes place in the company’s day-to-day activities. The importance of communication in the labor market revolves around actions such as:
- Find better solutions
- Develop and execute new ideas
- Share knowledge
- Carry out projects
- Avoid or reduce problems
In summary, improving communication is extremely important to achieve goals and reduce losses in companies.
To get an idea, 76% of large companies define communication in the workplace as the main reason for the failure of many proposed activities, according to a survey carried out by the Project Management Institute Brazil (PMI).
And the problem goes even further. According to Peter Drucker, known as the father of modern management, 60% of all business problems result from miscommunication.
But have you ever thought that improving communication at work can start with you?
5 tips to improve communication at work
Do you want to learn to improve communication and develop empathy at work? Check out the tips below and start having more productive conversations:
1. Know how to listen with openness and respect
Have you ever had the feeling of talking to someone who seemed to be on another planet? This is super common. And a lot of people have gone through this or even acted as an astronaut, whether in a meeting or hallway conversation.
But these situations are a loss of opportunity to open up to the new and learn from people – regardless of hierarchical level, age or education.
To get more out of conversations, try to have active listening at all times. And what is this? Nothing more than a technique to maintain an efficient and linear dialogue, starting from a genuine interest in listening to what the other has to say.
Thus, the objective is to interpret and assimilate as much information as possible. With this, trust between people is increased, reducing conflicts and improving teamwork and interpersonal relationships.
And, to make a more active listening, it’s simple:
- Listen and watch carefully
- Don’t just select what matters
- don’t let your perspectives interfere
- avoid distractions
- Make questions
Let’s try this today and see what happens?
2. Express your ideas well
Do you know the sound cars that sell? They’re communicating an idea, but we don’t always pay attention. Simply because that doesn’t interest us at the time.
An unusual comparison to tell you the following: plan the idea you are going to defend, but also consider who is listening. That is, think about how to create a connection with that person or that group. If possible, avoid being the sound card!
In addition, when communicating, take into account four other factors: empathy (think about the other person’s reality and efforts), positivity (keep the mood up), the truthfulness of information, and relevance of your idea or opinion in that context.
3. Don’t be afraid of conflict
“Oh, but I get along with everyone, I never disagreed with anyone.” We have a problem there, ok?
Avoiding confrontation at all costs is far from being a way to maintain good communication. On the contrary, not expressing your real opinions, even if they are contrary to the others, can cause communication noise and even generate dissatisfaction in yourself.
By the way, conflict (with a lot of respect, of course) is a great opportunity to clarify doubts, question solutions, expand relationships and learn from other opinions.
However, the cat’s leap is in how you position yourself in moments of the debate. And, in order not to let your feelings in control and end up expressing yourself aggressively, one of the possible tools is non-violent communication.
In summary, to practice it, you must follow these steps:
- Observe: understand what is happening and understand whether you like it or not.
- Feel name the feeling – differentiating what you feel from what you think or interpret.
- Recognize: check what needs are connected with that feeling.
- Ask: After the above points, make clear what you need using positive language and an affirmative tone.
Positioning yourself positively shows that you are a mature, empathetic, and self-assured professional.
4. Use body language to express yourself
Have you ever heard that your body speaks? It’s not an exaggeration. The verbal accounts for only 7% of the understanding of a message! In this sense, good communication at work also involves your gestures, your facial expressions, and your body posture.
So here are some quick tips to improve your non-verbal communication in the workplace:
- smile and keep eye to eye
- Maintain an imposing, open, and confident posture.
- Firm the gestures firmly and use them to emphasize what you’re saying
- In videoconferences, position yourself in front of the camera so that it appears from the torso up, avoiding gluing your face to the screen
5. Understand how to use each media in the right way
Have you ever received super long emails, with several questions in between and the worst: the person was requesting something “for yesterday”? Learning the etiquette of digital tools is also essential for good communication at work.
Also, each tool speaks a different language. So it’s important to think about how the message appears to the person on the other side of the screen. Here are some tips:
- Use self-explanatory titles
- Summarize the information in the first paragraph
- Reread before submitting
- Check if you have attached the cited file
Tips for using the instant messaging app well:
- start with a greeting
- And only then present the content
- End with a call to action, such as “what do you think?”, “can you help me with this”, “can you talk now?”
- Use short paragraphs, plus breaks between them, and see if the message appears in its entirety on the screen
- If sending audio, plan: the message must have a beginning, middle, and end. If it gets too long, prefer to make a call