While having a good relationship with your staff members is important, equally vital is their relationship with each other. Majority of the time, staff members communicate, interact and work with each other. Much of the working day relies on positive communication in the workplace as well as a positive working relationship between fellow workers. Remember to communicate with your employees the importance of peer-to-peer communication in the workplace, and provide them opportunities to develop and practice their communication skills.
In order to make sure that peer-to-peer communication is positive and effective, here are some of the rules to always keep in mind.
1. Employees should understand each other’s communication styles.
For you to be able to truly promote genuine and transparent interactions and relationships, it is important to be self-aware and to figure out your style of communication.
Ask yourself if you are a more direct communicator who likes delving into facts or if you are more of a storyteller. Are you a logical communicator or does your relationship with the other person affect how you communicate with them?
2. Employees have to understand how stress affects communication.
People under stress react to things differently. There are times when stress deters employees from practicing positive communication in the workplace. There are times that stress prevents them from relaying messages the way they intended to relay them.
3. Employees should be given the chance to express how they want others to communicate with them.
In as much as you have your own communication style, so do your employees. Allow them to freely express how they want to be communicated with. You can find out about your employees’ communication styles by giving them personal assessment tests and sharing the information with the group (if they consent to it). This will help your staff members get to know each other more, and will aid them when it comes to urging them to practice positive communication in the workplace.
4. Help employees practice positive communication in the workplace.
This type of communication involves not only praises and acknowledgment, but relaying messages in a tactful and thoughtful way. Employees are more likely to do this if they see employers and managers do the same.
Remember that the ways each person wants to be recognized are different. While others want to be praised in public, others prefer to be acknowledged in private. Keep this in mind when interacting with others.
5. Employees should be aware of the right timing when it comes to communicating.
If your timing is off, the person you are communicating with may not be able to digest what you are saying, or may even react negatively to you. This is true even if you have useful information you need to relay or an important message the other party requires. For example, one may not pay attention to your announcement about the annual Christmas party if he is busy talking with a client on the phone.
6. If communication involves tension and friction, fix and tend to the issues immediately.
There will be times that no matter how hard you try, communication will not go as you intended. Instead of letting go of the situation, have an open conversation about issues before they get worse. Prioritize positive communication in the workplace. Remember that relationships with peers can make or break work processes. They can even make or break the company as a whole. Not only will effective and positive communication make things run smoother in the workplace, it will make the work environment a more pleasant place to be in.