A company or team that lacks an ability to effectively communicate is intrinsically disadvantaged. In order for any team to operate at maximum efficiency for sustained periods of time, everyone must feel that they are understood. Understanding requires the ability to speak and actually be heard. If this level of communication exists in the workplace, the environment will remain positive and everyone present will feel inspired to strive for success. However, if workplace communication is poor, the energy can become toxic and productivity and morale will suffer.
Leadership Guides Effective Communication
The root of effective communication is leadership, as these individuals establish the “protocols” for communication in the workplace. Ensuring that communication is as successful as possible can be quite the challenge, however, there are definitely ways that leadership can improve on their organization’s communication.
4 Actions To Improve Workplace Communication
There are 4 areas of communication that leaders ad employees need to practice in order to improve workplace communication.
Communication goes well beyond the words that are being exchanged. There are other behaviors to be mindful of when communicating, including your tone of voice and body language. These two communication features have a substantial impact on how your communication is accepted and interpreted.
It can be helpful to focus on remaining relaxed both while listening and while speaking. This means being mindful of how you are standing and the expression on your face. Your posture should be seen as relaxed, avoiding crossed arms or an upset or harsh facial expression. Also work on your eye contact, as healthy eye contact demonstrates to those you are communicating with that you are focused on them.
2. Remain Attentive
Communication doesn’t mean much if you aren’t actually offering up your full attention and focus. Most people have been in meetings or one on one conversations and an individual was clearly distracted and not offering their undivided attention. It is a common occurrence, as individuals are overly focused on their phones or allowing their minds to wander.
Once one individual demonstrates their lack of attention, others begin to take the conversation less seriously and focus elsewhere. Again, eye contact is helpful here. The bottom line is that you should strive to remain engaged and focused and inspire presence in others as well.
3. Following Up After a Meeting or Conversation
This action is especially helpful for group meetings, as it is likely that some thoughts or ideas will be forgotten. At the start of every meeting, choose at least one individual to take notes. Following the meeting, clean these notes into an easily digestible email and share it with the entire team. This “recap” email serves as a great reminder of topics discussed and specific ideas that were shared.
4. Allow for Active Listening
Being economical with your words is an excellent way to improve communication. It can be easy to ramble on, taking control of the conversation for an extended period of time. However, your words will become background noise for others as they lose focus. It can be helpful to stop speaking after important points are made and allow for a pulse check. During this time, ensure that you’re being understood and check to see if anyone has questions for you. When you allow yourself to actively listen to others in the conversation, they feel empowered and understand that their role and words are important as well.
Improving workplace communication takes time and effort from everyone involved. If you begin to incorporate the advice that we outlined above, over time you will see significant improvements. There is a lot to gain from improved communication, as you will notice a boost in morale, improved productivity, and stronger company culture.
There are always ways to improve workplace communication, but it does take planning and consistency. If you would like to discuss additional ways to improve communication in your workplace, please contact Barry Saltzman at [email protected].