Communication is the hub of any workplace. Without it, it’s impossible to understand expectations or outcomes. Do you think your staff can benefit from stronger communication skills? Do you think you can? Here are some tips for you to develop these skills and lead by example for your team in the workplace.
Respect for Everyone
As soon as respect breaks down, no one is listening to one another. Don’t allow some people to have a louder voice or interrupt others. Don’t allow people to explain things when they weren’t asked to contribute to the conversation.
Respect is about listening to one another and taking all aspects of the discussion into account throughout the decision-making process.
It’s human nature to listen to someone just long enough to formulate a response. However, this is neither respectful nor productive in communication. Active listening is the ability to listen to everything a person says and internalize it.
To do it, really listen as they’re talking. When they’re done, repeat back what they said so they know that you heard them and ask any clarifying questions.
For good communications skills to be effective, it’s also important to keep an open mind. As soon as you shut yourself down to someone else’s ideas, you’re making a personal statement that they’re not good enough to contribute to the conversation.
Instead, allow yourself and encourage others to really take the time to hear other viewpoints without trying to immediately shut it down in the conversation or in your own minds.
Communication goes beyond in-person or over the phone discussions. It’s also essential that you have and encourage good email etiquette. Digital communications can be difficult because we don’t see each other’s body language or hear the tone.
Practice writing clear and concise emails to help everyone in the chain better understand. Know that many people skim information, so put the most important point in the beginning.
Positive Body Language
When you are communicating with someone in person, recognize what your body language is telling them. If you’re looking away or fidgeting or doing something else entirely, you send the message that they’re not important.
A technique called mirroring is very effective. If someone leans forward, you lean forward to. Maintain good eye contact but not too much. And don’t try to spread out or take up more space than you need as that conveys a sense of self-importance.
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