Thursday, October 10, 2013

9 Tips To Successful Workplace Communication:

Lately it seems that many people have been asking me about communication. Any of my clients and readers know that I believe communication is the corner stone to success in almost everything we do. Usually I am talking about communication between couples, or parents. Today, I thought I would give you a few tips about effective workplace communication!

9 Tips To Successful Workplace Communication:

1 Build rapport with whomever you are communicating. Do this by matching their voice tones and body language. For example, If you go in to talk to your boss, and he is sitting completely upright, rigid, with little expression, and speaking to you with a soft voice, do not go in there and slouch back casually in the chair, with your legs thrown way out, leaned back, and start the conversation with a loud, booming voice. Matching body language makes the other person feel more secure around you.

2 Act professionally. React calmly; interact appropriately. Don't act in a way that will have co-workers thinking you were hired because you are the boss's brother. Don't react negatively or blow up every time something happens. Don't gossip, cause drama, hit on co-workers, or use any behavior that your mother or grandmother would not approve of. It's a workplace, be professional.

3 Learn to use better language and express what you mean without offending. The English language with all it's complexities can be quite confusing. The words you use may mean something entirely different to another person. For example, remember in the 1980's when all the kids were saying "That's bad!" which actually meant that's good? We offend people all the time with words they may not like or tones they think are snarky. You can't please everyone, but you can keep it neutral enough so as not to offend most.

4 Don't be a mind reader or expect others to be one either. You probably DON'T know exactly how another person feels so don't say you do. Additionally, don't expect other people to know what you want or need. Assuming that another person will finish up your project the way you like is setting you both up for failure. Communicate with words, not telepathy.

5 If you have an issue or challenge, communicate with the source directly. You can go home later and vent to your spouse, but don't vent to co-workers; this is really just gossiping. Go speak to whomever you are having the challenge with and work things out. Focus on the issues, not the personalities involved. You don't have to like everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't work effectively together.

6 Express gratitude. People like to help people who are grateful. Be sure to thank anyone who offers you help.

7 Avoid negative talk. You DON'T want to be the office's "Debbie Downer" or "Negative Nelly." People prefer to be around other people who are positive. People don't like to walk away from a conversation feeling drained or depressed.

8 Always be sincere and considerate. Nobody likes a sycophant, or someone who is only interested in personal gain. Zig Ziglar once said "If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want." This is true on many levels. People like people who help others, not people who blow smoke. People also like people who are sincere and true to who they are. You don't have to be syrupy sweet all the time, but honor your own values, and think of other people.

9 Laugh. Be sure to use humor that won't offend. That means save the "Yo Mama" jokes for home but feel free to use appropriate humor at work. Appropriate humor for the workplace would be humor that would be OK for your children to hear. When in doubt, don't say it.

The workplace is a cacophony of personalities with an unlimited amount of perceptions. You may never orchestrate perfectly, but you can harmonize pretty well if you apply these successful communication tips. Start today with some great communication skills, enjoy your workplace, and Live Inspired Now!