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Effective Communication in a Workplace

Updated: Mar 9

Effective Communication in a Workplace

"Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”

— Paul J. Meyer



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The words we speak are important. However, how they're conveyed, may make all the difference.

This article provides you with how to adopt effective communication in your workplace.


From the moment we take our first breath, our speech ought to be brilliant, well-designed, and powerful. The first impression is the most important factor in effective communication.


We quite often forget the ancient saying that “you never get a second shot at making a first impression”. Well, isn’t it all too easy to start with the mundane, the uninspired, and the ordinary in both written and spoken communication?


Communication in the workplace refers to the type of communication you have with your coworkers concerning various work. Knowing when and how to communicate successfully at work may help you minimize miscommunication, boost team satisfaction, improve cooperation, and encourage trust. Teams who know how to successfully communicate about work are better equipped to deal with challenging situations.


Types of Workplace Communication

There are 4 major types of communication that we use in the workplace and even in our daily lives. Here are five types of communication you need to know about:


1. Verbal Communication

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Verbal communication is a way of communicating by way of a spoken language. Conversations, interviews, phone calls, press conferences, board meetings, team meetings, One-on-one feedback sessions, presentations, and public speeches are all examples of verbal communication.


2. Non-verbal Communication


Nonverbal communication accounts for more than half of our message. Paying close attention to your nonverbal behaviors, such as body language and postures, appearance, how you sound (voice tone), facial expressions, hand movements, and eye contact, may help you manage the impression you make on people.


3. Written Communication


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Written communication is the use of written language, symbols, and numbers to communicate. Anything you write or type may be used for written communication, including letters, emails, memos, notes, texts, reports, information gathering, and even a message written in the sky! When it comes to written communication, it's important to understand your audience, your goal, and keep consistency throughout your message.


4. Visual Communication

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Visual Communication is simply the delivery of information, messages, and points using graphical representations, or visual aids. Photography, slide presentations, art, diagrams, physical models, sketches, charts, graphs, and illustrations are all popular examples. You establish a highly powerful manner for your message to be heard and understood when you employ visual communication in addition to spoken, nonverbal, and written communication.

5. Active Listening



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Effective communication abilities include the ability to listen. You must learn the skill of active listening in order to be a great communicator. Giving your undivided attention to someone who is speaking is what active listening requires. This is when you make a conscious effort to listen to not only the words that someone else is uttering, but also the entire message that is being conveyed.


Building Effective Communication Skills


Here are a few tips to help improve your communication skills:

1. Clarity

Your one goal is to communicate your message clearly. Clearly conveying information and ideas in an engaging manner is a form of communicating effectively.

2. Know Where and When to Communicate


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Communication is very important in a workplace, and takes various forms - in person (face-to-face), in writing, an online chat session, over a video conferencing platform, or over the phone. It can also happen asynchronously, such as when you’re communicating about work via email, recorded video, status reports, or in a platform like a project management tool. Effective communication in the workplace is all about where, how, and when you’re communicating. You need to communicate about the right things in the right places and at the right time.

3. Prioritize Active Listening

Listening is equally as essential as talking in the workplace, and it's a significant element of having successful corporate communication skills.

Listening does not just imply hearing or patiently waiting for your attempt to put your own opinion out there, because you risk missing important information if you do so. When people are speaking, you should practice active listening, which entails engaging your thoughts and carefully focusing on what they are saying.

4. Confidence

There is a distinction to be made between being able to communicate and being able to communicate effectively. Confidence enables you to speak in a clear and concise manner.

Employees who are confident have a direct impact on brand perception.

Our body language communicates confidence. To prevent sending out any unintentional cues, keep your body language and facial emotions relaxed - smile, maintain excellent posture, and maintain eye contact. “Body language is the only form of communication that doesn't stop” - Terry Vaughan

5. Face-to-Face Conversations

According to Terry Vaughan, an expert in body language,

“Even if you're not talking, you're still giving away information about yourself or about your state of mind.”

Face-to-face conversations helps:

  • Build stronger connections,

  • Avoid miscommunication,

  • Enhances trustworthiness.

6. The Seven C's of Effective Communication


According to Sarita Menon, here are the 7 C's of effective and ideal communication:

  • Clear - Messages should be as clear as possible. Sentences should be short, precise, and appropriate, with specific language. The audience should not be required to assume what you're attempting to express.

  • Courteous - Address your audience with politeness, respect, and empathy. Maintain standard communication etiquette.

  • Correct - Ensure there are no misspellings or grammatical errors. The message must be accurate, precise, and timely. Your team or audience should not be confused by your language.

  • Concise - Get straight to the point. Convey a short and important message over to the audience in as few words as possible. Repetitive words should be avoided.

  • Concrete - The message should be distinct and straightforward, not confusing and general. Arguments should be backed up with precise facts and numbers, not just generalizations. Your audience shouldn't have to assume what you're saying.

  • Complete - Communication must be complete. Include all necessary information so that your audience is not left questioning if there is more to come. There should be no need for a follow-up.

  • Considerate - Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and tailor your message to meet their requirements. Every subject should be explained. To communicate effectively, one must consider the audience's viewpoints, background, mindset, education level, and other factors.

7. Body Language

Body language is the only form of communication that doesn't stop. If body language is crucial in communication, it is even more so in business communication. It's vital to understand body language in order to communicate properly.


What is your Body Saying?


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Our body tells different stories. Here are a few positive body languages listed.

  • A Genuine Smile - communicates positive emotions, creates trust and displays empathy.

  • Maintaining strong eye contact - demonstrates active listening and engagement.

  • A firm handshake - conveys trust and respect.

  • Head Nod - demonstrates engagement.

  • Head nod + Smile - Inclusive enthusiasm.

  • Head nod + Head Tilt - Excellent listener.

  • Hands behind the back of the body - portrays confidence.

  • Open hands - convey Honesty and openness. The optimum communication experiences have been connected to hand postures with open palms and relaxed fingers.


Ways to convey positive body language during online communication:

  • Straightening our posture.

  • Allowing space for thoughts to be expressed through our hands and upper body motions.

  • Making and keeping eye contact at all times!


Benefits of communicating effectively in the workplace?

In the workplace, it is important that we communicate in a clear, concise, and courteous manner. Clear and Effective Communication in the workplace:

  • Encourages team participation,

  • Increases team productivity,

  • Increases Employee engagement and attention,

  • Fosters productivity,

  • Builds a safe place for people to think creatively.



Bottom Line

It's critical to know how to effectively communicate your ideas and thoughts verbally, most especially in the workplace. In order to advance in your career, you must be able to communicate effectively.


References:

[1] Schramm, JD. Effective Communication Begins with a First Impression. (2010). Retrieved 25th February 2022 from https://hbr.org/2010/08/effective-communciation-begins

[2] Julia Martins.12 tips for effective communication in the workplace. (2021). Retrieved 25th February 2022 from https://asana.com/resources/effective-communication-workplace

[3] Sandeep Kashyap. 14 Tips For Effective Communication In The Workplace. Retrieved 25th February 2022 from https://www.proofhub.com/articles/effective-communication

[4]University of the People. Types of Communication – Back to Basics. (2021). Retrieved 1st March 2022 from https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/types-of-communication-back-to-basics/

[5] Indeed Editorial Team. Communication Skills for Career Success. (2021). Retrieved 1st March 2022 from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/communication-skills

[6]Terry Vaughan. A Commando's Guide to Communication in an Age of Masks. (2020). Retrieved 2nd March 2022 from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/commandos-guide-communication-age-masks-terry-vaughan

[7] Sarita Menon. Seven C’s of Effective Communication. (2015). Retrieved 21st February 2022 from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/seven-cs-effective-communication-sarita-menon#:~:text=Concise%20communication%20provides%20short%20and,is%20non%2Drepetitive%20in%20nature.

[8] Queen Anne. Workplace Communication 8 Rules: How To Be An Effective Communicator. (2021). Retrieved from https://queenanneeducation.com/workplace-communication/


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