Friday, January 13, 2023
Communication is such a big part of our daily lives and especially our career. We communicate all day, every day with our peers, people we’ve just met, our family and friends, and colleagues in the workplace.
Great leaders have one thing in common: effective communication skills. In order to lead people well and achieve your business or career goals, learning to effectively communicate is necessary. And while this can take some practice, there are many different tricks and tips to help you become an effective communicator.
Effective communication in the workplace is a key skill for success, both in the current role that you hold and the role that you want to get to. But no matter where you are, effective communication comes with practice.
8 Pointers to Communicate Effectively in The Workplace
1. Learn the Shared Language
There can be no connection without a shared language. And we don’t just mean the official language you speak, but also the workplace language. This will include the industry terms or words as well as workplace jargon.
The workplace shared language can be either formal or colloquial. It’s also possible that the language existed long before you joined the team, or it’s new and emerging.
No matter what the shared language is like, commit to learning and understand it in order to be part of the team and effectively communicate with others
2. Create and enrich connection
Connection is between two more individuals who have a common interest. That common interest might be something like a hobby, or the shared goal of a work project or task. Creating and enriching connections will help you effectively communicate with others.
There are three things to focus on to build a connection:
- Authenticity: Be whole and complete as your true self.
- Vulnerability: Ask for help and acknowledge weaknesses.
- Trust: Be reliable and trustworthy in your interactions with others.
3. Listen better
There is a difference between listening and hearing. Hearing is an automatic, subconscious function that we all experience when sound travels through our ears. It certainly is not the same as listening and understanding what someone is trying to communicate with you.
Listening is an active and voluntary process with the intent to understand communication. If you prioritize listening, you will become a more effective communicator. Here are three tips to focus on:
- Embrace silence: Follow the 80:20 rule, where you listen 80% of the time. By listening most of the time, you can really understand what someone is saying, understand the context deeply, follow and keep up with the conversation to know where the speaker is going, and analyze what’s being said.
- Be present: Eliminate the mental distractions, face your audience, and have open body language that shows you are engaged and present.
Ask clarifying questions: To make sure someone is understanding your message, you can ask clarifying questions such as, “What did you hear me say?” They can then repeat back in their own words and you can start off with a mutual understanding of the topic.
4. Hold the responsibility for communicating
When two people are in a conversation, who is responsible to ensure the message is heard and understood? Most people mistakenly assume that both parties are responsible. The reality is, though, that the person who initiated the conversation is responsible for communicating their point effectively.
Take extreme ownership of the outcomes of your conversations, especially if you are the leader or initiator. If you walk away from the conversation and the other person doesn’t understand, it is your fault because you did not communicate effectively.
Use the techniques in this list to communicate effectively and take personal responsibility for getting your sharing your important or inspiring message.
5. Focus on outcome
If you are employed at a company, you were hired into your role for what you can bring to the company. If you are an entrepreneur, you were hired by your client for the value that you bring in helping them achieve a particular result. Either way, you will be evaluated and measured based on the outcomes you can produce, the value of that outcome, and evidence of achievement.
Effective outcomes are a result of good communication. You will be able achieve the desired outcomes when you have been given a clear and meaningful communication about what the expectations of your role are. Outcomes and communication work together hand-in-hand.
By focusing on outcomes, you can then work backwards and determine what communication is needed to achieve those outcomes. It is like reverse-engineering your outcomes: if you want a certain result, you need to give a certain message to those you are communicating with.
6. Be direct, to the point, and concise.
In most workplaces, being vague is a common problem. If you are too vague when you communicate, you will “lose the lead.” This is a copywriting term that refers to losing a reader’s interest in a written article or story. After the headline, people will determine whether they want to keep reading.
It’s the same for verbal communication—keep your lead by hitting them with the headlines!
This can be achieved by focusing on the main point. People do not need to know every single detail. Instead, focus on what is most important so that you can be direct, concise, and to the point. They will thank you for it.
7. Personalize it
When communicating with someone, it’s not about you. The point of the conversation is not to hear your own voice or just reiterate all the things that you know. Rather, the communication is about the content that needs to be shared and how it will impact the other person.
For this reason, personalize your communication and make it about the other person. Try to understand their personality and align your communication with who they are. Practice empathy and put yourself in their shoes to understand how to best communicate with them.
8. Respond with curiosity
A lot of our workplace communication is centered around achieving a specific goal, such as signing a contract. When it is a high-stakes interaction, many people will put up a wall and have objections. This is often met with increased pressure from the initiator, which in turn makes the person defensive.
Instead of this, respond with curiosity so that they do not go on the defense. Authentic curiosity is the key to influence because it breaks down barriers. If you are genuinely curious about their concerns, then you can open the doors to see what is possible. Ask questions, listen, and gently steer the conversation in the direction you want to go.
Communication is so important, especially if you are in a position of leadership. Learning to effectively communicate can accelerate your career and help you reach your goals. These tips take practice, though, so make sure you start implementing them in your daily conversations.
As a gift to my valuable readers like you, I have created a guide that divulges the top speaker’s success secrets on how to get your message across clearly and confidently on any platform. Click HERE and get your free gift.
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