Proper communication in the workplace is one of the most important things to work on for any business. Fortunately, there are several strategies for effective communication that you can implement today. Our article is going to cover five of the best strategies currently available to make sure your workers are communicating as efficiently as possible.
1. Familiarize Yourself With The Different Communication Methods
One of the most important strategies for effective communication is the workplace is to familiarize yourself with all of the different communication methods. Just like each person may learn differently, individuals may also communicate differently by using a multitude of different methods.
The main types of ways that employees may communicate include the following:
- Verbal Skills.
- Listening Skills.
- Writing Skills.
- Technological Communicating Skills.
- Social Graces.
- Body Language.
- Emotional IQ.
Going into each of these methods in-depth could be an entire article in itself. However, the most important ones to consider are verbal skills, listening skills, writing skills, technological communicating skills, and body language. All of these methods are used almost daily in the workplace and can have a huge impact on how effectively you employees communicate with each other.
Verbal and listening skills are two of the cornerstones that you should focus on right away. Verbal skills teach your employees that the majority of their message is conveyed in how they say something instead of what they say. With listening skills, your employees should learn the difference between active listening and passive listening. They should have a clear understanding of when to use each one to achieve the best effect.
With writing and technological skills, it basically boils down to communicating your point effectively. The goal is to avoid targeting a person and to use specific examples to ensure that your point is clear.
For body language, you should teach your team how to read a person’s mood from how they present themselves. Make sure that they understand how to tell the difference between common poses like defensive body language and aggressive body language.
2. Have In-person Meetings
In this age of electronic communications, having in-person meetings remains another one of the best strategies for effective communication. The reason for this is that no matter how well you plan out an email or text message, a lot of meaning can be lost via the written word.
The reason for this is that a lot of your message is actually conveyed in your body language. There is a general consensus in the HR world that is known as the seven percent rule. Though not set in stone, the rule dictates that as much as 93 percent of what you say is conveyed through nonverbal cues.
This is where having an in-person meeting can really improve communication skills. Your employee can actually see your reactions and it can really help get the proper point across. Just remember to maintain an open dialogue and to keep things positive for best results.
3. Encourage Participation In Public Speaking Organizations
Actively encouraging your employees to participate in public speaking groups is another one of the best strategies for effective communication in the workplace. The reason for this is that many millennials lack proper communication skills. It’s theorized that a lot of this is due to the emergence of social media technologies that drastically reduced face to face interactions.
Your organization can counteract this by keeping a list of speaking groups in your area. Seminars are another great option that can help as well. While participation should not be mandatory, you can really increase the chances of employees signing up by offering paid time off for the event. In addition, offer to cover any participation fees as an eligible company expense.
4. Create A Listening Focused Environment
It’s often said that to be a good communicator you have to be a good listener. This is why creating a listening focused environment is another one of the best strategies for effective communication. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to accomplish this in your workplace.
The first is to make sure your employees understand the difference between active and passive listening. With active listening, you tend to respond with visual cues like nods to show that you agree with something being said. With passive listening, you simply listen and do not offer any type of feedback until the person is done speaking.
Once your employees know the difference between these two listening methods, have them practice each of them. In addition, you can create roleplay scenarios to help employees learn which listening method is most appropriate for a given situation. Ultimately, this will have a positive impact on your employees and will improve their overall mood and efficiency.
5. Don’t Forget The Importance of Body Language
To really maximize your strategies for effective communication, you cannot forget the importance of body language. All of your employees should understand the difference between the various body language poses that are associated with communication.
In general, body language can typically be divided between defensive and aggressive actions. The most common defensive body language that is easy to identify is crossing your arms. This action generally indicates unease. However, smaller movements can change the meaning of this defensive action. For instance, clenching your first while crossing your arms can signal hostility that is barely contained.
Aggressive body language is most prominently displayed in the face. This can include scowling and a flushed appearance. It’s also common for people to raise their voices in aggressive body language. This type of behavior is meant to challenge a person or to force them into a position of submissiveness.
Ultimately, learning to identify a person’s body language effectively can drastically improve your communication skills. It can help de-escalate tense situations and will lead to more productive talks for everyone involved.
The five strategies for effective communication that we covered are all excellent options. From learning the basics of communication methods to active roleplays, each of these strategies can have a drastic impact on the way your workers communicate with each other. If there are any additional communication strategies you would like to share, feel free to tell us about them.
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