7 Ways To Improve Your Workplace Relationships Through Communication Skills
Ever wondered why your message is not perceived as positively as you expected? Sometimes it is not the words we say, but how we convey them to the audience. A workplace is full of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Therefore, miscommunication may occur from time to time and this could lead to broken relationships. To avoid any misunderstanding, you may need to change the way you convey your message. That is why we have compiled a list of seven effective techniques to improve your communication skills. With good communication skills, there will be better relationships at the workplace.
- Understand your communication style and how it impacts those around you
The way you interact with others is vital to your workplace relationships. If your tact is flawed, the audience may pay more attention to the mistakes than the actual message. Therefore, you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself how your style overshadows what you are trying to communicate.
Some of the mistakes may include the I-know-it-all or i-know-the-job-well attitude, talking more than you listen, or talking others down. You can ask some of your trustworthy colleagues what you are doing wrong. Once you have narrowed down your options, try to make small adjustments every day. Some of these behaviors may not go away instantly, but you will see gradual improvements if you are consistent enough.
- Learn your coworker’s communication methods
With the ever-advancing technology, we have many communication channels to pass our information. You could be one of those who prefer emails while your colleague likes video or telephone calls. In such scenarios, communicate with them via calls because they might not read your email on time. Remember that it is not about the better method but the most effective one based on the parties involved.
- Ask questions
Appreciating your workmates is one way of creating a better working environment. Taking them out for lunch is one way, but there is a cheaper option. Asking questions during conversations shows that you understand what they are talking about.
- Pick the right moment and method to pass your message
What you convey could have many meanings depending on when or where you say it. For instance, your colleague forgot to logout from their computer hence risking the company’s information. The way to go about this is not raising the issue in an office meeting but by approaching them discreetly.
As such, you will be solving a problem while keeping your workmate’s relationship intact. This will go a long way in building a strong working relationship where everyone cares for one another. Also, remember that your urgent issue is not always be someone else’s priority. Therefore, ensure that the one you are talking to is in the right state of mind to listen.
- Be friendly but professional at the same time
Building good relationships at our workplaces may involve talking about personal stuff. When employees find a common ground, they become more productive. When you and your coworkers explore some of your personal lives, you might discover that you share a lot in common. Such conversations and interactions are encouraged but with conditions. As an employee, you should be aware of professional boundaries. Inappropriate communication at work or via company tools may have a negative impact on your professional reputation and your career.
- Be an active listener during conversation
Communication is a two-way street and there is always a perfect time to use one of the lanes. The best way to deliver your message is by interacting with your audience. Maybe the reason why your colleagues do not understand your message is because you don’t give them time to ask questions. Also, people might not interact with you if you do not let them add anything to the conversation.
Being an active listener means you let those around you pass their message then you follow up with something. Such conversations are usually productive because both parties benefit. If you ask questions or add to what has been said, it will show that you are interested in what is being said. Listen then ask!
- Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues
Sometimes you might feel something is not going right because you tried passing a positive message but it was not well received. In a face-to-face conversation, what your body says is as important as the words you use. Smiling and using your hands to elaborate are some of the things you should consider. How you present yourself to the audience builds an instant perception in their heads even before you start talking. The same applies if you are seated in a meeting or seminar as a listener. Some verbal cues such as tonal and pitch variation gives you a better understanding of the message being passed.
A productive environment is dependent on the relationship of the workers. This, in turn, is affected by how well the employees communicate to one another. From the seven techniques covered in this article, it is apparent that communication breakdown can be caused by either the listener or the speaker. Therefore, before you start judging others, evaluate your skills based on this list. Note that change begins with you and your willingness to make adjustments is what that matters.