Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful workplace environment. In an ideal case, your workplace can look like this: everywhere around you people are conversing together respecting each other's opinions, and listening even if they don’t like what they’re hearing.
However, often times such a situation isn’t the case. The reality of many workplaces looks very different from the ideal. People are often not good listeners, talking while others are talking, don't have a clear message of what they want to say and it takes them too long to get to the point.
In this article, you can read about what steps need to be taken to improve the overall efficiency of communication in your workplace. Once these steps are implemented, you will see the long-term benefits of this action in many positive aspects in your workplace.
Benefits of an effective communication
Implementing effective communication in your workplace is one of the basic factors that will lead you to success. Once you embrace this change and start working on it you’ll be able to see the full impact of its power. Now let’s mention a few of the benefits that may happen after effective communication will be prioritized.
Lower risks of conflict
Firstly implementation of effective communication will have a direct effect on the relationships in your workplace. Everyone will benefit from a calmer but at the same time a more professional environment where people know how to communicate respectively and promptly. Such preconditions will lead to lower risks of conflicts because everyone will know how to prevent them. It’s way easier to work in an environment where people understand different communication patterns and know exactly what to do to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
Improved employee engagement
Improved communication creates a safer space where everyone feels more secure satisfied and also more motivated to do what is supposed to do. People tend to be more proactive and accountable for what they’re doing so they fulfill the tasks with better quality. It’s more pleasurable to work in such an environment and so everyone’s more likely to perform better.
A better understanding of clients’ needs
Effective communication does not only benefit you on an internal level but the same goes for the external one. These skills can help you better understand your clients and customers and it will become easier to recognize their communication patterns and read between lines. This way it will become natural to listen to others’ needs and know when and where to say the right thing. Choosing the right communication tools will lead to preventing conflicts and building a stronger and more trusting relationship.
Easier communication makes working not only more pleasurable but also more efficient. Knowing how to communicate your needs correctly and clearly has a direct effect on the productivity levels of the whole team. People are able to achieve more because they are not strained by the limits of ineffective and incorrect communication styles. This way, everyone can focus on their own needs and improvement of their skills. Time is saved and invested in more important areas.
There you have it. Effective communication influences every aspect of your workplace. It reaches not only your colleagues, customers, or shareholders but it can bring many other benefits, such as stronger company culture, better performance levels, an attractive and talented workforce, and also it leads to lower turnover. Besides, it makes it easier to communicate to your team the overall direction and plan of where you are heading.
7 principles of an effective communication
Something that can help you on your journey to implement the art of effective communication is to follow the so-called 7Cs. These principles capture the different aspects of what effective communication should entail. These are: being concrete, and coherent, speaking with clarity, being committed to the conversation, consistent with the flow of your thoughts, speaking in complete sentences, and being courteous.
Being concrete can be translated into being clear about what you are saying, going straight to the point, and giving practical examples that give the listener a bigger picture of what you’re saying. By doing so, your thoughts will become more tangible, and easier to grasp, and therefore you will end up having fewer misunderstandings with the listener.
It’s crucial to plan ahead of the outline of what you’re about to say. Your overall message will be more clear, easier to follow and followed by fewer questions from a confused listener. Make sure you have prepared a well-planned and logical flow of the message you're about to share with others. This will improve the quality of the overall communication and the outcome will become better.
Be clear with the goals and purpose of what your message entails. It’s good to think about how your message will sound and it’s better to prepare the flow of it beforehand. This will avoid others jumping to conclusions or making assumptions that may not be necessarily true. Doing these steps will again contribute to a more pleasurable and effective conversation.
Commitment can be explained as someone’s dedication to the conversation. Obviously, when one’s more engaged and committed in a conversation, it makes the overall flow of communication more efficient because any type of communication is a two side process. When both sides are actively involved, it will drastically improve its effectiveness.
Consistency is all about staying true to the original idea and the flow of the message. It impacts your choice of words their relevancy to the topic and the right selections of sentence structure. This helps you to communicate in a clear and timely manner. Besides, you will avoid having a confused audience.
Another thing to consider is the completeness of what you’re saying. Communicating a complete and coherent message with a clear point will avoid having a confused audience. Simply there isn’t anything worse than getting started and then leaving everyone hooked. It’s crucial to finish your message with a logical conclusion.
Effective communication isn’t only about the content of what you’re communicating but also how you’re behaving towards the recipient. Remember that honest respect, openness, and being polite will get you far.
So here you have it. Always remember to check off the 7Cs for having a successful communication.
Improving communication in a team
An effective work environment can be understood as a creation of an environment where everyone feels heard, respected, and can freely express themselves. Feeling like one belongs somewhere, being included in decisive processes, making connections with others, etc.
But how to create such a work environment where effective communication is present in every corner? Maybe you practice it in some places of your workplace but there are still some spaces for improvement. The easiest way how to find the missing places is to identify the situations that lack better solutions.
Space for presenting ideas
One of the first things to consider is to overlook if there are enough opportunities for your employees to present their ideas freely and openly. Maybe it’s the case that there simply aren’t enough opportunities when to communicate clearly. One of the ways how this can be mitigated is to build trust by having an open door policy. This way people can pitch their ideas whenever they want and it helps with the creative process as well. When given the opportunity of being able to speak openly then people will feel more encouraged to do so.
Effective communication can’t be effective without being transparent. And this can be a little tricky especially if you work in a big team. That’s where technology comes into play. It’s highly recommended to use project management software for more transparency so it’s easier to have an overview of what’s everyone doing. This way one aspect of exercising transparency will be covered. However, it’s equally crucial that you’re transparent in the communication as well and able to openly express what’s going on without hiding important information from others.
Feedback and active listening
It’s very important to not only learn how to give but to also receive feedback. Well, even more important. Effective feedback can only work if both sides are actively participating. Exercising this can have long-term benefits not only on the communication you’re having with others but also on the efficiency of the workflow.
Choosing the right communication method
Creating a meeting for something that could have been an email? Explaining a complex problem in just words without any visual evidence? Having a conversation with someone but not really paying attention to what they’re saying? What helps is to reflect on the conversation and consider different methods of communication to get the most out of it.
Here are the 4 categories to consider:
Visual communication via charts, maps, images, and graphs.
Verbal communication through face to face, by phone, and other media.
Non-verbal communication through body language, eye contact, and gestures.
Written communication through letters, e-mails, books, magazines, and the internet
Better safe than sorry
Another thing that can help increase the quality of communication is to make sure everyone understands what’s going on and it’s better to repeat what you said. IT’s even better to do it in different formats because everyone thinks a bit differently. The same goes for the recipient. It’s better to ask even three times to avoid some misunderstandings later on. This is applicable especially for the planning process and for setting expectations. When you don’t clearly understand the direction where your team is heading then it will be very hard to follow.
Other methods that may help
To finish this off there are many more things that can help you the improvement of the efficiency of the communication you’re having in your workplace. Among these things, something that can positively contribute to building a more effective communication structure is trust, honesty, empathy, directness, accountability, and taking ownership of when something goes wrong as well as recognizing the right communication style. Remember to praise in public but leave criticism for the private. Also, it’s better to assume positive intent.
Effective communication is the key to your workplace environment's success. It does affect every aspect of your work life and when used correctly you can achieve big things. Now it’s the time to implement what you’ve just read and learned. Remember that just reading these things will not get you far but the important part is the action.