6 Ways to Improve Your Communication at Work

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6 Ways to Improve Your Communication at Work

By Team Six Words

No matter where you work, poor communication is a common workplace problem. Whether it’s lack of information, closeness-communication bias, or jargon-full-who-can-understand-this-stuff updates, bad communication stalks even the most transparent, open organizations.     

The good news is, you can take steps to ensure you don’t contribute to poor communication.These six tips will help you improve the way you communicate at work (and in many other aspects of your life).

  • Consider Context and Key Messages
    • Your coworkers, boss or external contacts may not have the same context or insights as you do on the latest project or situation. Before you communicate, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions. Then, build them into your written or verbal communications:
      • Do I need to recap anything to ensure we’re all on the same page? When in doubt, include a recap. Those who already know can skip over it, those who don’t will appreciate the refresh.
      • What are the critical updates or messages I need to get across? How can I make these stand out?
      • Where do we go from here? What are the next steps I need to include?
      • What do I need people to do with this information? Is it “FYI” only? Or do they need to take action? 
  • Make the Most of Formatting
    • The longer the update, the more likely important details will be lost.
    • Use formatting in written communication (such as bullet points or bolding certain words) to highlight vital information. We like to bold important dates, calls to action or key decisions, so it’s nearly impossible to miss them.
    • When communicating verbally, try to be clear, concise and focused. Hone in on the most important details and leave the distracting filler content out.
  • Watch Your Tone and Body Language
    • The way you communicate can drastically affect your message. Always consider your tone and body language – a serious conversation requires a different approach than a celebratory update. Paying attention to these factors can improve your interactions with others, and make you a more graceful communicator overall.
  • Listen
    • We’re big believers in doing more listening than talking. Listening not only helps build stronger relationships, but it also creates room for conversation and gathering feedback and information that may be critical to your success. In any form of communication, always make space for listening.
  • Think Before Your Communicate
    • Whether it’s an email, a personal interaction, or a phone call, what you say matters. Don’t underestimate the power of the pause. Your first response may not be your best. Before replying in haste to your latest email or request, ask yourself – does my response add value? Are you communicating out of emotion, or out of necessity?
  • Be Specific
    • If there are gaps in what you are saying, people will fill them with their own assumptions. Make sure you review and look for ambiguity or gaps in your communication.

 

Being a good communicator takes effort. Try the tips above and let us know how it goes!

Improve more aspects of your communication by checking out our blog.

 

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