Communication in the workplace is critical to success. Success for you as an individual and success for the company. Teams work so much better with clear, consistent communication. Your ability to communicate well directly impacts your success, your teams success, and therefore the companies success.
In this article, we ill take a look at why good communication is so critical in the workplace. We will then look at the 7 most important communication techniques in the workplace you need to know. You will be able to clearly see why having strong communication skills are a must have resource for your success at work.
With that, let’s examine why strong communication is so critical in the workplace. This article is from one I originally did for Lifehack titled the same “7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace”. Lifehack is a great website.
Why Communication is Critical in the Workplace
Being able to communicate well will help you in all areas of your work. You’ll be able to work more effectively with your coworkers, your bosses, and clients. Strong communication impacts your relationships with everyone you work with.
If you are a leader, it is vital that you are able to convey clear information to others on your team. You’ll be able to create a vision everyone can see. You can share goals that the entire group can get behind. A much better sense of team can be created by your ability to communicate. Conversely, you’ll be the captain of a rudderless ship if you don’t communicate well.
Clear communication is important in every area of our lives. From our workplace to our personal relationships. We can look at 3 areas of our work where communication is extremely important:
Communication in the Company
It cannot be understated how important clear communication from company leaders is. This is an area that is easy to spot if it’s a yes or a no.
Company leaders that convey a clear message about company goals, values, and culture are doing everyone a wonderful service. It gets everyone going in the same direction. As a company you’ll hire the kind of people who align with the company culture and values. Everybody knows what’s important.
Companies that have poor communication from leaders suffer because of it. People that work for the company don’t know what’s important. They tend to not know what the values of the companies are. Culture becomes something they aren’t able to tell anyone about because they don’t know.
Are we trying to grow this year? By how much? What do we care about as a company? How are we staying ahead or at least on pace with our competitors? What are new developments in our industry? Hard to know these answers if you never hear it from the leaders.
Communication within Your Team
Almost everyone works with a team of some sort. Your team might be 2 or it might be in a group of 20. It doesn’t really matter, you have to be able to communicate.
Chances are you are all in one department so you are working towards a common goal. It might be an project getting ready to launch or recruiting for your company or the sales team. It’s vital to be able to clearly communicate with other members of your team about goals, processes, challenges, and camaraderie in general.
Communication with Your Boss
It is critical to be able to communicate clearly with your boss. Having a good rapport with your boss has so many advantages. It allows you to know what you need to do in order to be successful.
If you can’t communicate with your boss, you won’t be able to get the resources you need to do your job well. You’ve got to be able to have a clear picture of what your boss defines as success in your role. None of this happens without solid open dialogue with your boss.
Plus, let’s be real, it’s much more fun and engaging to work for a boss that you get along well with and have a strong working relationship.
7 Important Communication Techniques in the Workplace
Let’s take a look at some of the communication techniques that can super charge your success in the workplace.
1. Be Available
One of the easiest ways to have good communication at work is to simply be available. I’ve worked for bosses that were always available to talk to and willing to jump in and help. I’ve worked with fellow coworkers who always had a shut door to their office and took 4 days to return an email.
Guess which scenario creates the better working environment? Not too difficult to figure that one out.
By simply being available you help create a comfortable atmosphere of communication in the workplace.
2. Be Friendly
Being friendly to the people you work with is another fairly easy way to have good communication skills at work. Having a positive attitude and caring about the folks you work with goes a long way.
When you have a friendly, engaging attitude, the people you work with will naturally flow towards you. They will see you as approachable and have an easy time opening up to you.
This type of communication leads to groups that work well together and enjoy being around each other. It helps to develop a good sense of team in the workplace.
3. Be a Good Listener
I’ve covered this in another article but it certainly bears repeating. Good communication isn’t just about conveying information. It’s also about being a good listener in order to fully understand what someone is saying.
When you have well developed listening skills, you are able to fully process what someone is saying. This is mission critical for working closely with someone.
You have to be able to get what they are saying and what they are communicating to you. When you fully understand someone, you are able to have good back and forth communication dialogue, and create a great sense of team and balance!
You can learn how to be a better listener in this guide: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)
4. Be Clear
Sharing information clearly is one of the most important communication techniques in the workplace. Being clear is one of the 7Cs of communication — an essential framework to prevent miscommunication.
I have worked with people who can talk for 30 minutes and I am more confused about the question I asked at the beginning than when they answered it.
I’m sure we all know someone who can generate a lot of words coming out of their mouth but really not say anything. Don’t be this person. All it does is hinder communication.
While it’s great to have small talk when you share important information, be very clear about it. Make the points that are needed and don’t build in a lot of fluff around it. Say what is needed in a clear manner. Add more information if needed. Clarity is key.
5. Be Aware of Non Verbal Communication
Remember, non verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. Watch other people’s body language when you are interacting with them.
Things like crossed arms and frowns should be big signals that someone either doesn’t agree with you or doesn’t understand. It’s just as important to be aware of your own non verbal communication.
Look at other people in the eye when speaking to them. Have an open posture when someone is speaking to you. This reflects that you are open to what they are saying.
Watch yours and other people’s non verbal communication cues.
6. Be Open to Feedback
Think of this as being someone who is able to be coached. It’s incredibly important towards the beginning of your career but also throughout your career.
Everyone has a boss. Even if you are the president of a company, you have a boss – your customers. Be open to the feedback of your boss, colleagues, and customers. Many people have an issue with constructive criticism.
I find this is the best way to learn about yourself and more importantly, improve yourself. If you aren’t willing to listen to feedback, you’ll never change how you are doing something which means you’ll never improve your results.
7. Be Open Minded
Think about this. If you aren’t open minded while having a conversation with someone, chances are you won’t be listening very well. You’ll be too busy formulating a response to think objectively about what is being said.
Having an open mind will allow you to have a strong dialogue with others that leads to working together to solve problems.
Strong communication skills are a wonderful skill to have in your arsenal. Great communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This goes for all of your personal relationships as well as your work partnerships. You will be able to get more of what you want when you communicate well. The listening side of communication helps you understands others needs as well.
We’ve taken a look at the 7 most important communication techniques in the workplace you need to know. As you read through the list, see if you feel you could improve upon any of the techniques.
Challenge yourself to get better at one or a few of them, your work self will thank you!