Communication is an important part of working together in a team. It helps us collaborate more efficiently and tackle tasks with greater ease. However, not everyone finds it easy to communicate effectively at work.
In fact, many employees struggle to find the right words when they need them most and fail to convey their meaning clearly. Even simple conversations can feel incredibly difficult when you’re feeling shy.
But good communication is crucial for any team to be successful and productive, so here are seven tips that will help you improve your communication skills with your coworkers:
Communicate Face To Face
While communication can happen in so many ways, nothing beats face-to-face communication. Real eye contact and the power of non-verbal communication are crucial for building rapport and understanding with your coworkers.
This is especially important when you need to have a sensitive conversation with your manager or a coworker. It’s much easier to process what someone else is saying when you’re looking them in the eye, so try to avoid phone calls and emails when you can.
Face-to-face communication is also a great way to build more authentic relationships with your coworkers. It’s easier to read someone’s body language and tone when you’re face-to-face, which can help you avoid misinterpreting something they said.
Listening is just as important as talking. Have you ever found yourself being interrupted mid-sentence or having your attention wander while someone is talking to you?
This can be incredibly frustrating and make you feel like your coworker doesn’t respect you or your time. It’s important to set a good example by actively listening to other people.
This means not just waiting for your turn to talk, but actively paying attention to what your coworker is saying. Remember nod in the first few seconds to show the other person that you’re actively listening.
Avoid checking your phone, flipping through papers, or making noises like tapping your foot or clicking your pen. It’s best to avoid cross-examining your coworkers and asking them lots of questions.
Instead, try to summarize what they said at the end of their sentence. This will show the other person that you were actively listening and engaged in the conversation.
Sometimes, you might be tempted to use vague language so you don’t offend anyone, but this can make it harder for your coworkers to understand you.
Vague language leaves room for misinterpretation and is also harder to search in your company’s communication system. This can make it challenging to find what you’re looking for later on.
Try to use clear language that’s easy to understand and leaves little room for misinterpretation. This will help make your team more efficient, as everyone will be on the same page.
For example, instead of saying “let’s try to improve our process,” say “let’s try to improve our customer satisfaction rating.” This will make it much easier for everyone to understand what you’re trying to achieve.
You might be tempted to tune out during long meetings or conference calls. This can be a useful strategy if you feel like you’re not getting anything out of the conversation.
But it can be incredibly rude and disrespectful to other people on the call or in the meeting. Instead, stay engaged in the conversation and try to actively participate.
This can be challenging during long meetings, especially if you’re tired or bored. Stay hydrated and take breaks if you need to. You can also try to actively participate in the conversation by raising your hand to ask a question or make a comment.
This shows that you’re engaged and actively listening throughout the conversation. Make sure to follow up on any comments or questions you make during the meeting, so that nothing gets lost in the conversation.
Schedule Weekly Team Meetings
Although it might feel like you’re in school again, scheduling regular team meetings can be a great way to stay connected with your coworkers. This is especially helpful when you work remotely, so you can find ways to stay connected with coworkers who are in different parts of the world.
It’s also a great chance to discuss your company’s goals, find out what’s going on in your coworkers’ lives, and learn how you can help out with projects.
This will help you build stronger relationships with your coworkers, which can be helpful when you need to rely on them for help or have a sensitive conversation.
This will also help you stay on top of your company’s goals and find out what others are working on. This will help you collaborate more efficiently and tackle tasks with greater ease.
Build Trust With Employees
Communication isn’t only about understanding the words that are being said, but also feeling comfortable and confident in the people you’re talking to.
This is especially important if you have to have a sensitive conversation with a coworker, your manager, or someone in HR. Confrontation can feel incredibly uncomfortable and nerve-wracking.
It can help to build trust with your coworkers by being honest and upfront with them. If you notice a mistake or something that could be done better, try to be respectful and constructive, and offer ways you can help.
This can help you avoid any awkward confrontations and help you build stronger, more trusting relationships with your coworkers.
Give Constructive Feedback Thoughtfully
Feedback is important for helping employees grow and improve their skills, but giving constructive feedback can be challenging. Be mindful about how you give feedback to your coworkers.
Try to give feedback in person, either in a one-on-one meeting or in front of the team. This can help you avoid embarrassing someone or making them feel singled out.
Try to focus on the positive first and then move on to what you think needs to be improved. You can try to end on a more positive note, suggesting ways your coworker can improve their skills.
Create An Internal Language
In some companies, terms such as “good idea,” “let’s try it,” “I don’t understand,” and “I agree” might be used frequently. This can be a helpful way to speed up communication and get more done in less time.
This is known as an internal language and can be incredibly helpful when you’re working with a remote team. Try to find ways you can use an internal language in your team, such as GIFs or emojis.
This will make communication easier and faster, which can help you get more done in less time. You can try to create an internal language that’s easy to understand and relevant to your company’s goals.
Communication can be a two-way street, which means that you have to make sure you understand what your coworker is saying. If you’re not sure about something, try to ask for clarification.
This can help you avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. You can try to confirm understanding by replying with short, clear sentences.
Such as “I understand that the report is due on Friday,” or “Let’s meet on Wednesday at 3 p.m.” This can also be helpful when you’re communicating with someone outside your company, such as a client or contractor.
Communication is an important part of working together in a team. It helps us collaborate more efficiently and tackle tasks with greater ease.
However, not everyone finds it easy to communicate effectively at work. In fact, many employees struggle to find the right words when they need them most and fail to convey their meaning clearly.