“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” – Mae West
You have just bagged that awesome job with the company you have always wanted to work with and are super psyched to begin! The challenge is to prove yourself as a valuable asset to the organization. In this article, I will chew over one important skill that could make you stand out and outshine your peers. Read on to learn certain useful hacks on communicating effectively at your workplace.
Communication is a huge part of what we do at work every day. If you wish to be at the top of your game, it is essential to have excellent communication skills – verbal, written and presentation. The best part is, these can be learned and improved over the period of time. With technology invading every aspect of our lives, interpersonal communication is being replaced by the digital form. While making it quick and easy, a lot gets miscommunicated and misunderstood in the process. Thus, the need to hone your skills to be an effective communicator at work.
It all begins right when you enter the office. Wish the people you meet according to the time of the day. It doesn’t hurt to exchange a smile or a passing nod with a colleague you are not too familiar with. Maintain a positive disposition while at work. No one wants to be around a grumpy, pessimistic co-worker. If you are being introduced to someone, exchange pleasantries with a firm handshake. There is a common tendency to forget the name of the person being introduced right away due to inattentiveness. Make it a point to address her/him by their first name at least once in the conversation. While a lot of interaction happens one-on-one, there are multiple ways we communicate with groups of people at work. Meetings, emails, group discussions, brainstorming sessions, presentations, Skype calls, and video conferences are some of the ways we exchange ideas with colleagues.
Do the homework before attending a meeting. Find out the agenda. If you are required to present a report, carry the relevant documents. Be attentive during the meeting. Take notes if necessary. Make sure to put your phone on silent mode. If you are asked to give inputs or share your ideas, wait for your turn. Speak in a volume that is audible to everyone present. Remember to use formal language only. Do not drag the discussion into unnecessary topics. Once the meeting is over, thank the speaker and do not linger around in the meeting room.
Check your email regularly and reply to the ones that need a response as soon as possible. Remember to keep your emails crisp and precise. Address the receiver by their name. If you do not know the name of the receiver, use ma’am/sir. It is imperative to keep your tone formal and polite. Always use proper grammar and punctuation. Use Grammarly https://www.grammarly.com/ to assist you in checking grammatical errors in an email. If you need to attach a file, double-check that you have attached the correct one. Make it a habit to proofread an email before hitting the send button.
3. Group Discussions/Brainstorming Sessions
Brainstorming is a tried-and-true approach to generate effective ideas that most organizations resort to. Write down your ideas in bullet points before joining in the session. While exchanging views, keep aggression under control. Do not criticize other people’s ideas. Instead, try and build on them. Remember, no idea is a dumb idea. Substantiate your arguments with relevant data. This again requires you to do some homework on the issue to be discussed. Effective communication necessitates patient listening as much as speaking. Do not keep interrupting while someone is sharing their ideas. Wait for your turn to speak. Appreciate a good idea. The purpose of a brainstorming session is to come up with solutions that work. You need not be right every single time.
4. Video Conferences/Skype Calls
Most MNCs thrive on video conferences and Skype https://www.skype.com/en/ calls. Know the date and time of the scheduled call/conference. Check your internet connection beforehand. Make sure that you are seated at a silent place away from disturbances. Turn off the television, mobile phone, and other gadgets. Greet the person at the other end at the beginning. Listen attentively. Jot down notes if necessary. Depending on what the call/conference is about, keep documents with relevant facts and figures handy. Keep your tone formal and polite. Never use slangs. Do not prolong the call/conference unnecessarily. Remember to thank the person while hanging up.
An impending presentation can be extremely stressful, but not if you are well prepared. Rehearse the presentation in front of a mirror a couple of times. Silly though it sounds, trust us, it will boost your confidence. Speak clearly in an optimal volume. Make eye contact with your audience. Keep your posture upright. Make effective use of MS PowerPoint wherever necessary. Do not rush through the presentation. Thank the audience at the end and request feedback. Do not lose your cool. Take constructive criticism into your stride.
Besides these, WhatsApp groups are the most popular means of communication in the present times. When added to an official group, use it to communicate official matters only. Do not send jokes or spam messages.
I hope you have learned a trick or two about effective communication through this blog. To further polish your abilities, check out this course on Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization on Coursera. https://www.coursera.org/specializations/improve-english
Communication skills are like muscles that can be built over time. Work on them gradually and you will soon be the impressive, eloquent leader you have always wanted to be.