Over the years, we acquire certain habits and mannerisms when we communicate. Some may be helpful in sending our message across, while others may cause unnecessary and avoidable problems. You might not even realize that these patterns are already causing problems in your workplace. Here are some tips that you should think about, to make communication in your workplace much more effective:
1. Don’t attempt to talk to many people at once.
When you talk to someone, try not to divide your attention and focus your attention on the speaker. For one, you might miss details that will spell the success between success and failure. Moreover, some people will want your undivided attention and will take offense if you look and act like you don’t care.
2. Jot things down.
There are more than enough tools for you to write things down, from apps in gadgets like Evernote, to a simple pen and paper. You can even record the conversation just to be sure that you’re not leaving out any important detail.
3. Ask two important questions.
During important conversations, when you are the one transmitting information, you can’t afford to take your chances and assume that the listener understood what you’re talking about. Ask two questions that will define your main points, just to see if the listener was able to absorb what you have to say.
4. Respond completely.
Isn’t it frustrating when you receive a response email that doesn’t address everything you have to say. Not only will this unnecessarily waste everyone else’s time, it will also slow down the work progress. In the same manner that you don’t want this to happen to you, respond to emails sent to your point per point. Use bullet points if necessary and to make your points clear.
5. Always assume the best of everyone.
When the tone of the e-mail you receive from a colleague is less than ideal and if you hear someone construe a perfectly neutral email in a negative manner, it’s easy to be aggressive and let things spiral out of control. In all communications, it is best to assume the best intentions of people. Try to understand where they are coming from, and you will find it easier to deal with them.
6. Stick to a response schedule.
What should be your response time to communications sent to you? It’s far easier to manage people’s expectations when you create a response schedule: respond to important texts within 20 minutes, return calls within an hour, and reply to e-mails within the next day. Try to do this, and it will eventually become a habit.