AHS Shohel Ahmed

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Communicating effectively is both a skill and an art. It is a skill because you need to learn its nuances, and it is an art because it sometimes requires a touch of genius to work effectively. Imagine it was one of those slack days in the office. No operational problems to stress you out, shipments are on time, all the materials have arrived, your people are behaving exceptionally well, and your boss hasn’t unexpectedly called you into his office – yet. Then, as you let your mind and eyes wander unintentionally, it fell on your direct supervisor’s cubicle. Silently, you wish, “Someday, I will occupy that office or higher.” What do you need? Firstly and importantly, effective communication in the workplace.

Here are five simple ways to enhance your communication at the workplace:

Successful professionals maintain effective communication in the workplace.  How they do it has been the subject of several studies. But they all boil down to:

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk.

It means consistency. They do what they preach, and they know what they teach. They don’t leave much room for ambiguities in their communications and actions, which could cause confusion among their subordinates if not chaos. They protect their credibility like a treasure.

Ability to Break Down Complex Things into Simpler Terms.

On any given day, you may be deluged with information from above, sides, down and outside. For instance,  customers and suppliers make it a real challenge to bounce them back in simpler and more understandable terms.

Develop the skill in distilling and translating complex thoughts and strategies into simple, easily understood terms that subordinates, colleagues, and outsiders can understand and act on to attain effective communication in the work.

You can do it by doing it fully absorbing and comprehending the key elements of an issue, removing the chaff from the grain, so to speak, and presenting them as they are – free of jargon and business language.  It’s important to achieve effective communication skills.

Simple and Direct to the Point.

Get real in your communication. A lot of people struggle to communicate effectively because they are torn between what they think is appropriate language and what they believe people want to hear. In the process, their message becomes sanitized or watered down, making it ambiguous, less than truthful or factual.

To communicate effectively, say it in its simplest terms and direct to the point. People generally appreciate honesty and candor.

Provide presence.

Two cardinal rules:
–    Managers’ offices must always be open;
–    They must set a certain time of the day to go to the line, even if they don’t belong to operations.

These rules work well. The managers become, more or less, appreciative of the things going on in the line. And the line people get to know and talk to them every now and then.

Emails and memos definitely have their uses, but they don’t supplant face-to-face conversations with the people whose cooperation and goodwill you need if you want to succeed in your career.

Person-to-person contact is effective communication in the workplace at its best. There is no time delay, no line loss, immediate feedback, and the nonverbal side of it is very apparent.

Stop, Look, Listen.

It may sound zany, but it is an absolute necessity if you intend to communicate effectively.

If it is worth saying, it is worth saying well. Don’t communicate while “on the fly,” and never when you are preoccupied with other things.
Focus well on what you say and hear. When you are speaking from a position of authority, people often clam up and express themselves through their body language. Be sensitive to these non-verbal cues.

Ask questions and clarify things until all areas for potential disagreements and misunderstandings are ironed out.

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” Brian Tracy.

Writer: HR & Research Professional

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