Communication is a powerhouse that keeps any organisation moving forward toward business objectives. A lack of effective communication, whether between teams, leaders or employees will bring a business to a halt.
Career Coach Catherine Phan says effective workplace communication is a combination of understanding yourself and that of your co-workers.
“Communication starts with self-awareness and empathy and is often about understanding expectations, each person’s role, and what you want to achieve.
“If you’re able to understand and communicate what you would like from the other persons or what they’d like from you, such as to listen, brainstorm with, seek clarity from, communication regarding the work becomes much easier allowing for easier camaraderie and workplace culture,” said Ms Phan.
The increase in automation and technological advances in the workplace today will not be able to replicate human communication.
“Employees still have a greater ability than technology to communicate, clarify, understand problems and find solutions.
“And, with good communication comes innovation.”
Communication-Enhancing Strategies in the Workplace
You can improve your communication in the workplace by asking others how they perceive you or by seeking the advice of a professional.
“Reflective practice and feedback from others, such as a line manager or an external reflective practice practitioner, helps you to understand how to communicate, overcome anxieties and to navigate different personalities in the workplace.”
‘It’s also helpful to set professional development goals around communication to ensure team cohesion to meet business objectives.
“Poor communication nearly always affects how a team operates, effectiveness and the evolution of any business.”
Reflective practice is an essential part of professional and personal development for employees and leaders.
“Greater education and coaching about the impact of good communication lead to greater influence with others, leadership skills, being understood and known by colleagues, and in turn, creating support to achieve goals.
“Feedback regarding communication often needs to be one on one to personalise and coach through scenarios, as well as to avoid humiliating employees,” said Ms Phan.
“Workplace communication keeps your team together. When communication falls down, then so does the connection, the processes and the function of your team. It also affects team morale and well being.”
So, what can you do to improve your team’s communication?
The first and most crucial step to improving workplace communication is to make it a top priority, said Ms Everett.
“You need to help both your team and the leadership to build their communication skills.”
Inward and outward communication skills and emotional intelligence are important in establishing strong and effective communication in the workplace.
“Build inward communication skills such as active listening, perspective reflecting and open-ended questions.
“Build outward communication skills such as speaking with clarity, putting forward different options and giving feedback.
“Build emotional intelligence communication, such as expressing empathy and conflict resolution skills.
“Build the skills of appreciation and strength acknowledgement to strengthen your team.
“Communication is a practice, so once new skills have been learnt, providing the opportunity, environment and support to ensure that they become new positive habits is needed.
“It is also important to create a circle of safety in the workplace.
“This is where there is a zero-tolerance on blame, where mistakes are allowed and worked through and where each member of the team has a voice and a forum to speak,” said Ms Everett.
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Improve Your Workplace Communication
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