“Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.”
Do you agree with Emma Thompson? Don’t you think communication (or lack of it) leaves its marks in the workplace as well?
Albert Mehrabian, an American psychology professor devised a formula for how humans actually interpret a message. In the whole communication process, people spend 7% of the time talking, 38% interpreting vocal cues (voice and tone) and 55% visualizing.
In simple words, when you are communicating, you are spending 93% of the time on nonverbal communication.
No doubt business communication skills are held in high regard by employers. Not only is it the deal maker or breaker with clients but also affects a team’s performance as a whole.
So, without wasting much time, let’s look at the key tips on how you can communicate efficiently in the workplace.
- Create a positive environment
The word ‘meeting’ makes most people nervous, be it a stand-up meeting, group discussion, or one-on-one. It’s in your hands to avoid the tense environment at all costs.
Create a receptive atmosphere. Instead of starting the discussion right away engage in small talk to break the tension.
How about asking your team about how they spent or will be spending the holiday? Or, you can talk about the latest cricket match!. A little ice breaker will do the trick and your team will be more than ready to listen to what you have to say.
- Take a confident and firm approach
It’s good to start a conversation with ice breakers but don’t go overboard. Let your listeners know you mean business after all.
Speak with confidence and share the seriousness of the situation. If you’re too casual while communicating, your team will likely disregard the information as less important.
- Keep it simple
Now, let’s be practical here. Everyone in the room you are communicating with cannot be on the same page when it comes to vocabulary.
So, instead of using fancy words and industry jargon use simple words that everyone can easily understand. You don’t want your team members to keep interpreting the meaning of something in their minds and miss out on important information.
- Keep them engaged with visuals
Have you seen the Bollywood film ‘Drishyam’? The film shows the perfect use (or misuse in the film’s case) of photographic memory. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
So, don’t just make your team sit and listen to you. Help them visualize the message you want to share. Create a presentation or a video. Use visuals strategically to make it easier for your team to understand your idea.
- Listen to your team
We already established the importance of listening in communication. Once you have shared your message, encourage your team to ask questions, or share their thoughts. Be open to feedback.
Listen more than you would speak to understand more about your team’s skills and concerns. It’s an easier and effective way to know your team better to face future challenges.
You must have identified these tips as helpful for face to face communication. But you can use these tips for different types of communication—be it verbal or written.
Need more such tips to improve your communication skills? Why not take an online course by industry experts where they share effective frameworks, insider tips, and their stories about when they failed and how they overcame their flaws? Sounds interesting and encouraging, right? So, enroll in an online course and start working on your communication skills.