Overdue deadlines, rambling email threads, and poorly planned projects are side effects of poor workplace communication. Hence, modern offices need cohesion and collaboration. Employees need to work as a team to improve productivity and profits. All the more, COVID-19 has reinforced the need for effective communication at the workplace.
Since early 2020, several companies have shifted their workplaces online. Not only did remote work increase productivity, but it also highlighted the need for effective communication.
The Seven C’s of Effective Communication:
But, what is effective communication? It is the foundation of a business, while it ensures that employees efficiently share relevant information. There are seven tenets of effective communication.
- Concrete: You must be specific to share information effectively. Therefore, vague terms and general discussions will only confuse others. You must have facts and figures to back up your assertions.
- Coherent: Rambling about several plans will only make others lose interest in your ideas. So, try to present a logical and sequential argument.
- Clarity: Effective communication makes the goals and purpose clear. Readers should understand your point of view.
- Concise: While brevity is the soul of wit, it is also vital for communication. Always keep things short.
- Consistency: Use the correct jargon for your industry for error-free communication.
- Completeness: Begin everything with an introduction and end with a conclusion.
- Courteous: Effective communication has to be friendly, open, and honest. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with sugar.
While some learn communication skills with practice, others learn better in a structured environment. Fortunately, several degrees cater to people interested in honing their communication skills. The best part is that you can opt for a hassle-free online communication degree to become a whiz at things. The benefits of e-learning have skyrocketed in the past year or so. So why not enroll yourself in some of the best courses available to learn the ropes.
- Be attentive: Most people try to multitask. But usually, they end up missing vital information. It is impossible to talk to someone constantly scrolling through their phone while listening to you. Not only is this irritating, but it also makes people absent-minded. Therefore, always maintain eye contact during meetings and nod your head to show that you are listening. Look at the nonverbal skills and center all your attention on the speaker.
- Try a communication app: Team communication applications are a godsend as they make it easier to collaborate with others. Just log onto your application instead of hopping between several communication channels. Communication applications are very sophisticated, with several different functions from virtual happy hours to progress bars for projects. For example, ProofHub is an excellent tool to collaborate, organize and deliver tasks within time.
- Choose the best mode of communication: There are several modes of communication. You must choose the correct one to share your concerns with others. Research suggests that visual communication is more effective than verbal communication. So try to use visual cues such as graphs and images in your presentations. Use nonverbal causes such as gestures and body language to reinforce verbal communication.
- Do not hum and haw: Do you ever hear someone speak about Winston Churchill beat around the bush? Because it never happened. Excellent speakers throughout history have one thing in common; they are confident people who get straight to the point. Therefore, do not go into all the background information when discussing things. Always be brief to save time.
- Do not get emotional: Usually, our emotions get the better of us when we talk about things. Some people burst into tears, while others get angry when communicating. An excellent communicator knows how to control their emotions to get their message across. You might even say something you will regret later. So, always talk in a calm and relaxed manner when discussing things.
- Provide explicit criticism: Constructive feedback in the workplace can identify issues and clarify expectations. You must be clear and direct when talking about projects. Keep your conversation private instead of sharing it in a group setting to avoid uncomfortable situations, and focus on the actions instead of the person.
- Always be courteous: Do not make things ugly by making every meeting a screaming match. Encourage your colleagues and employees to communicate with you and air their problems. Try to have an informal meeting instead of making passive-aggressive comments about others. Not only do small meetups improve team building, but they also increase productivity.
- Listen to everyone: Many people surround themselves with sycophants instead of people who challenge ideas. Companies that rely on yes-men become stagnant and out of touch. Therefore, you must always have innovative people on board to point out new ways of doing things. Your discussion should be a two-way dialogue instead of a speech. Remember, you are running a company, not a dictatorship.
- Focus on your language: Your language affects how people receive your messages. Therefore, always use inclusive language to improve teamwork. Never use politically incorrect information as it may make others feel uncomfortable in the workplace. Your employees and colleagues have a right to work in a comfortable environment. You may even enroll in sensitivity training courses to improve your communication skills.
- Use time wisely: Coffee breaks and watercooler meetings are excellent opportunities to get to know others and bond with your team. These meetings promote the exchange of ideas, improve communication and encourage collaborations. Discuss your hobbies and interests to boost your energy and productivity.
Remember that change starts with you. So, create effective habits to improve workplace communication and collaboration. Excellent communication will enhance job satisfaction and help you resolve internal conflicts. With better communication comes team spirit and high motivation. These changes will increase profit rates and reduce turnovers.