You’ve probably heard “communication is key” before. And it’s true. Effective communication is absolutely essential to every relationship in your life, whether it’s in business, at work, or in your family. Today I want to focus on just one of these areas: Communication in the workplace.
If you work with other people, there’s a good chance you have experienced both good and bad communication. The benefits of great communication are endless. Good, clear, and honouring communication allows you to get more done in less time and it helps to cultivate a culture of respect.
On the other hand, a lack of communication (or poor communication) leads to stress, frustration, misunderstandings, dishonour, and it impacts the company’s bottom line.
An easy way to understand complicated people:
People can be complicated and hard to understand. Whether it’s your spouse, co-workers, clients, or children, confusion and miscommunications happen from time to time. The good news is there is an easy way to eradicate those communication breakdowns and create harmony instead. I want to point out a few different aspects of communication that are often forgotten or could use some improvement. As you read today, I don’t want you to think, “Oh, I never have that problem,” or “I’m a great communicator!” You may be a great communicator. But there is always room for improvement. As your communication skills increase, so will your income. So I want you to look for ways you can improve your communication today.
The tone of voice. You’ve heard, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Your tone of voice communicates either honour or disrespect. It communicates confidence or fear. Sometimes we don’t even realise the way we speak to others. So today, really pay attention to how you speak and how you respond to others. Are you honouring your superiors? Are you honouring those who are ‘below you’ in the company?
Nonverbal communication. 93% of communication is nonverbal. If you are sitting back, not smiling, with your arms crossed, your body language says, “I’m not interested in what you have to say. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to listen to you.” If you are smiling, sitting forward, and getting involved in the conversation, it promotes good communication. The other person is more receptive, and it really pulls you into the conversation.
Clarify! Don’t assume you understand exactly what someone means. The phrase, “So what I hear you saying is…” will help you make sure you understand what the other person is saying. It causes you to listen carefully, and because you are recapping the conversation. If you don’t understand something, simply say, “Can you clarify that for me?” or “What do you mean by that?”
Follow up. Always follow up! Follow up is a key part of communication that, unfortunately, many people never do. But it’s as simple as sending an email to follow a conversation. This includes giving updates on your progress on projects or assignments you’re working on. When you follow up with your boss, managers, and co-workers, it keeps everyone in the loop and keeps them updated on the progress and it eliminates the need for them to track you down to find out where you are or what you’re doing. When the lines of communication are open within a team, productivity soars and it becomes a harmonious work environment.
Here’s the thing, Communication is one of the most important skills you use every single day. When you have poor communication skills, your success is severely limited. However, when you focus on constantly improving your communication skills, your success will continue to grow.
So today, I want you to find where you can improve your skills. If today’s letter highlighted any areas you feel could use some work, then don’t wait. You can start working on those things immediately. Remember, what you focus on, you get good at. Wherever there is an intensifying focus, you get more results. So if you see that your communication skills are lacking, really focus on improving them, and you will see results!
That’s it for me today. I hope this has helped you! If it has, would you mind passing it along to your friends, family, and co-workers? Print this out and pass it around your office today.
I would also love to hear your thoughts about today’s Blog! What are your biggest communication breakdowns? How do you deal with them? What have you found that has helped you improve your communication with others in your workplace? Until next time I wish you peace, love and success. Martin Acton sensei www.martinactonaikido.com