I’m often asked what can be done to improve communication skills in the workplace. Here are four tips that you can use.
1. Have a break
Leaving the office may not be possible for you. However as the saying goes, ‘a change is as good as a holiday’. Small changes can make a difference.
What can you do to have a break?
You could simply go for a walk or work on another task. The benefits include:
- You can consider your options for the communication task
- You can analyse the task and break it into simpler components
- You’re more likely to view your communication task from a new perspective
Having a break is not about avoiding a business communication situation and hoping it will go away. It’s about giving yourself permission to focus on something else for a short period of time. Rest assured, your brain will still be working on the task in the background.
2. Try something new
It’s very easy to go into auto-pilot. Whether we realise it or not our previous experiences with colleagues and clients will affect how we respond to them in the future – whether it’s face-to-face or written communication.
Have you ever travelled to work a different way to your normal route? When you do, you become more alert to your surroundings. You may even find a more efficient way to travel to work.
The same goes for communicating with others. Be willing to try new ways to communicate effectively.
Take up professional development opportunities for new ideas. This could lead to viewing a situation in your workplace with a new perspective.
3. Do one task at a time
Many of us multi-task in an attempt to be efficient and to simply ‘get everything done’. Is more productivity achieved?
Studies have found that people perform better when they focus on one task at a time.
How do you become more productive by doing one task at a time especially if you’re used to multi-tasking?
It’s about prioritising and setting boundaries. By focusing on a particular task you’re ensuring that you’re not being distracted by other tasks or people. This can include not checking emails or even diverting your phone to voicemail for a specific time period.
Communicating with colleagues or clients either on the phone or in a meeting can often have distractions which many of us take as the norm. Be in the moment in each communication that you have with others and you’ll probably find that communication exchange more informative and productive than you previously had experienced.
4. Be kind to yourself
It’s important to provide support and praise to team members for a job well done. Whatever your role within the business it’s also important to acknowledge that what you do in the workplace is of value. How often are you kind to yourself?
Being kind to yourself allows you to recognise what you do in the workplace. It also helps you to stay energised and focused on your business goals.
These four tips will help you to:
- Maintain the energy to focus and effectively deal with workplace communication issues
- Increase your productivity
- Be a good role model to your colleagues and clients
- Enjoy your role in the business and all the challenges that it entails
What works for you?