Communicating effectively will improve your relationships with your partner, family, friends, and coworkers.
Let’s focus on your coworkers: if you can’t communicate with them professionally and effectively, you will complicate many things in your workplace.
Let’s look at seven tips for effective communication in your business to make things easier.
Tip #1: Always proofread emails before sending them
It’s never a good idea to write an email and send it without reading it at least once. Ideally, everyone in your workplace should develop the habit of proofreading their emails.
A simple typo could make it difficult for the recipient of your email to understand what you are talking about. An email in all caps or without punctuation marks always looks very unprofessional.
Whether or not you can add emojis or animated GIFs to your emails depends on the culture of your business. If no one is doing it, don’t do it.
Tip #2: Be clear and direct
Whether you are writing an email or talking to someone, do your best to always be clear and direct. You want to get to the point quickly, but you also want to ensure you are saying everything that needs to be said.
Provide context for your instructions or your demands. Do it if you have to give examples to make your point clear. If you only share a tiny bit of information, your coworkers will have to try to fill in the blanks on their own, which will surely lead to misunderstandings and issues.
Think about what it is you need to say, then say it.
Tip #3: Be transparent and keep everyone updated
It’s important to be transparent about everything in the business. Keep everyone updated and informed, and don’t hide information from anyone.
If discussing a project or task in a digital workplace platform, ensure this conversation remains public. If you only chat privately with one or two employees more involved with a process, everyone else might miss some important information or development.
By keeping everyone involved, you are reinforcing team spirit while avoiding misunderstandings and frustrations.
Tip #4: Avoid controversial topics at all times
Effective communication in the business is also about avoiding conflicts. Depending on the workplace culture, it could be okay to make jokes and discuss topics that are not work-related from time to time. But avoid controversial topics such as politics and religion.
You should also avoid engaging in rumours or joining in whenever someone complains. Instead, simply excuse yourself and go back to work.
Remember that controversies, gossip, and negative talk do nothing to make a workplace more effective and productive. Stay positive and professional at all times.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Even when everyone is trying to communicate more effectively, there will still be things you won’t understand. Don’t hesitate to ask questions whenever you need clarification on a topic.
You should not ask questions to your coworkers every 5 minutes, especially if it would be easy for you to find the answers on your own.
But whenever you don’t understand something regarding a project or a task, ask for clarifications, either in person or through your employee communication software. Your intervention could end up making things easier for everyone.
Tip #6: Work on becoming a better listener
Communication is not only about talking. If you truly want to get better at communicating clearly and effectively, you also need to get better at listening.
Whenever a coworker is talking to you, listen to what they say. Whether they are giving you instructions, asking you a question, or talking about their progress on their current project, don’t just assume you already know what they are talking about and don’t try to fill in the blanks.
Listen, and show them you are genuinely interested in what they are saying. Remember that communication must go both ways to be effective.
Tip #7: Don’t forget non-verbal communication
Finally, remember that non-verbal communication matters as well. In addition to listening to what your coworkers say, you could understand many things by simply paying attention to their body language.
As for your body language, it will make a difference in how people perceive you. If you constantly look like you think you are above everyone else or don’t care about what anyone has to say, your coworkers will not feel comfortable around you.
And if they feel you will not listen to them, they will be less likely to want to talk to you. To become better at communication, you have to look ready to listen and share conversations.