It’s important to have clear communication with your boss, employees, and clients. Misunderstandings and problems are common and with clear communication you will be able to solve any mishaps that arise. Having clear communication skills will have you better equipped for your job. It will also impress your employers and clients, making them more likely to work with you in the future.
Here are 10 tips to communicate clearly at work:
- Make eye contact. Keeping eye contact with the person you are talking to lets the person you are talking to know that you are listening and understanding what they are saying.
- Use active listening skills. Repeating key information shows the person you are talking to that you are actively listening and understanding.
- Ask questions. If you need more information about the topic at hand, be sure to ask clarifying questions.
- Engage in appropriate nonverbal communication. Be sure to have open body language as opposed to closed off body language. When speaking to your boss, coworker, or client, nod your head to show you understand what they are saying. It’s also important to smile to show you are enthusiastic and friendly. Be sure to maintain good posture to show confidence as well. Don’t cross your arms or avoid eye contact.
- Match communication styles of the person you are talking to. There are many different types of people in the workplace and each have their own unique communication styles. Be sure to understand each individual you are talking to and match their communication style. Check out our previous blog on 4 different types of people in the workplace and how to communicate with them.
- Give visuals. It’s useful to provide visuals when presenting or communicating a new idea. These can include graphs, pictures, videos, or other visual displays.
- Encourage feedback. Communication goes both ways. Be sure to give positive feedback and ask for some feedback in return. This is a great way to open the doors of communication with others so they have the space to say what’s on their mind.
- Be direct and concise when speaking. Talking too much and rambling on can cause your listener to tune you out. Your coworkers and boss are often busy, so this is another reason to keep communication clear and concise.
- Know where to communicate. There are many different ways to stay in touch for work. Be sure you understand the best method for communicating such as, in person, over email, over zoom, or over message (slack, gmail chat, text).
- Choose the right time. Don’t talk at the end of the day when your coworker may be rushing home from work or send a message at 3 in the morning. Be mindful of your coworkers needs and think of when the best time to talk to them would be. Are they under a stressful deadline? Maybe your talk can wait until they are done with their important task.
Keep in mind these are just guidelines. Every job has a different work culture and a communication style that reflects it. For example, a lawyer and a line cook may have different norms when communicating. These tips provide general guidelines to follow to increase the clarity and effectiveness of communication in the workplace.