Effective communication in the workplace has to do with the process of exchanging information through verbal and nonverbal ways in the workplace. And since we spend the majority of our week communicating with people we work with, it is important to be able to communicate with them properly and effectively, so that work becomes more of a pleasure than a pain.
In order to truly communicate effectively, businesses and managers need to employ and practice communication strategies in the workplace that will not only help people through their work processes, but will also motivate and engage them.
Here are some effective communication strategies you can opt for:
1. Don’t assume. Ask.
Even in our personal lives, assuming can get us in trouble. If we assume that people think a certain way or don’t know certain things, then we are likely to misunderstand situations. For example, if we enter the workplace and immediately assume that one person is unpleasant just because he or she didn’t say good morning, this may lead us to conclude that that individual will be difficult and hard to work with.
Instead of assuming, ask and communicate. It is easier to simply sit back, assume and analyze in our own heads than to actually get up and ask someone why he or she reacted the way he or she did, or why things appear a particular way. However, assumptions can lead to false beliefs and misunderstandings, which could eventually result in friction and tension in the workplace.
2. Get to know people.
One of the most effective communication strategies out there is also one of the most logical and is connected to the previous strategy. Get to know people instead of making assumptions about their characters and personalities.
Have an open mind, and you might just discover that those who you previously thought wouldn’t be your cup of tea would actually be people you have a lot in common with. Getting to know people, much like in our personal lives, is the best avenue to take so that we are able to work better with people.
3. Use the Sandwich Technique.
No one likes criticism no matter how constructive it may be, and many people have as a difficult time of giving it as receiving it. The Sandwich Technique is one of the best communication strategies you can utilize when giving constructive feedback to others.
With the Sandwich Technique, you first identify the positive points of a person, place the constructive criticism in the middle, and then end the interaction with another positive note. For example, as a team leader, you may say to an employee that clients have been commenting about how pleasant he is to work with, but that he needs to work quicker and be more aware of the deadline that has been set for the project. End the conversation by saying that he is so far turning in quality work.
4. Use the Grapevine Technique.
Informal communication in the workplace occurs through word-of-mouth or through grapevine communication. Although grapevine communication can sometimes be sporadic and unstable, it carries some importance to internal business communications.
This technique (minus grapevine gossip, of course) is a supplement to formal platforms of communication. Information actually travels more quickly through the grapevine technique than through other channels, plus it is more straightforward, direct and is present within all levels of employees.
The great thing about the grapevine technique is that when it is done properly and with care, it not only builds teamwork and corporate identity, it also enhances the sense of belongingness of employees as well as employee engagement.