Communication Skills in the Workplace
The way people communicate in everyday life generally differs from how they communicate in the workplace. Co-workers mostly take part in more formal communication, especially when communicating with a superior, as a professional atmosphere requires a certain level of decorum. The workplace is more of a communicative atmosphere; usually, the more detail, the better. You can’t get by in the workplace by mumbling replies or only using hand gestures. Employers very much want employees who possess quality communication skills to communicate their work, opinions, and ideas clearly. This means speaking loudly and clearly, as well as knowing how to convey your words effectively.
Workplace Communication Skills
One of the easiest ways to miss getting your message across is to only use email. Email is such a widespread tool that often people don’t think about how their typed messages are read by others. For example, an email that reads, “Can’t wait for today’s staff meeting!” can be misinterpreted as sarcastic instead of genuinely excited. Try to leave any emotion (i.e. sarcasm) that can be misconstrued out of email messages. Furthermore, does the email really need to be written? Would a phone call or face-to-face discussion suffice? If your email needs a timely response, a better option would be to physically speak with the person, as emails often get moved to the back burner during a busy work day.
People possess a certain level of communication, but not all people understand what to say and what not to say in the workplace. For instance, you may complain about certain people to friends or family, but you should never resort to name-calling in the workplace. Saying “she’s lazy” or “I hate this company” to the wrong person in the workplace could lead to your supervisor hearing about it. In addition, these statements only reflect poorly on you; if you have an issue with someone or an aspect of your job, you need to communicate correctly. Addressing problems with tact and consideration can have a very positive effect.
Communication Skills Development
Another term that can have a negative impact on the way you’re viewed is “that’s impossible” or “there’s nothing I can do.” While you may be able to say this outside the workplace, employers greatly value employees with a can-do attitude. If you really have exhausted every option, you can suggest an alternative or say you’ll check the possibilities again. Many times, communication skills can only be developed through experience, or trial and error. Another option is to take a class on communication or earn a college degree. Education can show students the proper methods to connect in the workplace.
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