Communication at work

We are taught to communicate with others from the minute we are born. It can be with subtle actions, words or overt body language. Yet that being said, it can be really hard to communicate sometimes, especially in a work environment where you are expected to maintain a professional demeanor. Let’s be honest, getting your point across to your friends can be a walk in the park compared to work. But why? There are a lot of different things that come into play, but the biggest thing by far professionalism. The trick is to keep the lines of communication open while not offending, disappointing, or stepping on the toes of others.

Here are a few ways you can improve how you communicate at work:

1) Make sure you are always using inviting body language – Sometimes if you are having a bad day, it is easy to cross your arms, or hunch over when you are talking to a co-worker. As irrelevant and this may seem, it does give off a negative vibe to the people around you. Body language is a huge part of communicating in any social circle. So, uncross your arms and make yourself seem calm and collected, even if you aren’t. This will make people feel better about approaching around you for any reason.

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2) Be sure to listen – Most people are terrible listeners. Instead of genuinely listening to what people have to say, we instead interrupt, think about what we are going to say or just completely check out of the conversation. Try to become a better listener. You will be surprised as to what you can learn about people by doing that.

3) Tone is everything – Always beware of the tone you have in emails and in person. Sometimes people don’t understand that their tone is a bit harsh. It can definitely make an email do a 180 degree turn depending on the tone.

4) Watch your criticism – Especially if you are in a role where you manage others, make sure you are aware of the criticism you are giving them. You want to make sure you are giving positive reinforcement and that your comments aren’t coming from emotion. That can be taken in a way that makes the other person view the conversation negatively.

5) Never stop learning – Communication is such an important skill and you should never stop striving to be better.  When it comes to the working world, it is true that the more you know the better off you will be. Observe how others respond to your communication to clue you in on areas for improvement.

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In all work environments, you are going to come across situations where good communication is key. There are definite skills to have in order to make sure you succeed in that area. So, never stop learning and you will be able to be an excellent communicator no matter where you are!