Ringggg! Ringggg! Ringggg! Your phone alerts you that your business call is starting, and you hop into the conference call, notes in hand, ready to discuss the month’s earnings. This is one form of professional communication we often see: discussing progress with the team and keeping divisions up to date with the going on of the company. Communication, however, is far from black and white. It can take on many forms, especially in the workplace.
Effective communication is essential to a successful career and a thriving business. It can reap great benefits for your teamwork and collaboration efforts by allowing you to mitigate conflict and reduce misunderstandings. Effective collaboration makes team members feel heard, helping you build better relationships with clients, consumers, and employees.
Poor workplace communication is often cited as one of the primary reasons for failures in the workplace. Poor internal communication leaves many things up to interpretation, which can be understandably detrimental when working on a large project. Knowing this, how can we better practice business and professional communication? Read on to find out our best advice on elevating your communication game!
Here are the six best practices for business and professional communication:
1. Maintain openness and honesty
When others feel they can trust you, they will be more willing to listen to what you say. People value transparency and integrity— knowing what is going on within your company encourages active participation and employee engagement.
We understand that complete transparency may not always be viable; however, honesty and open communication are still achievable. This can be achieved by sharing updates on the company’s goals, milestones, and future projections, not being afraid to shy away from the bad news, and being willing to admit when mistakes happen or when a lack of knowledge around a specific topic is present.
2. Employee communication software
Employee communication software is essentially a digital workplace solution that allows messaging and communication between the members of a specific company. It also personalizes and delivers top-down communication, such as updates and newsletters across a business, thus, making it one of the most effective ways of sharing knowledge and ideas.
For a team to thrive together, quick and efficient communication is a key trait. If you are working on a project and need to know how to design a specific graphic, it can be unwise to wait until the next time the graphic designers are in the office to do so. Instead, employee communication software allows you to access your employees anytime, anywhere. This proves quite useful with the increased remote work in today’s economy!
3. Listen actively
Slowing down and taking the time to actively listen to the others around you can reveal a lot about how the company can be as successful as possible. To do this, seek to understand instead of being understood. When speaking to another person and trying to get information to the other party, it may be a habit to tune out what they are saying to focus on what you should say next.
Instead, try to listen to the other person and understand what they are trying to communicate with their verbal and nonverbal actions. Ask questions to gain further insight and build stronger relationships. By doing this, you can better gauge a situation and cover the necessary topics rather than the ones you think are necessary.
4. Be enthusiastic and engaged
Energy is contagious! People are more receptive to ideas and changes that come from a positive source. By smiling and adding emphasis to your tone, your enthusiasm will soon change the atmosphere within the workplace, allowing for an environment that encourages communication and friendliness. As such, people will be more open to sharing ideas and receiving feedback.
5. Ask for feedback
Often, employees within a company hesitate to provide feedback due to the fear of being reprimanded. By asking for feedback and directly engaging with employees on that front, you are effectively removing the fear and, thus, removing one of the largest obstacles in workplace communication.
To do this, we recommend creating a process for providing feedback, whether a brief survey after meetings to gauge improvement or implementing an open-door policy encouraging employees to drop in with feedback whenever it arises.
6. Customize your communication style
Every employee understands, interprets, and applies knowledge in different ways. Thus, communicating in different styles and with different emphases can help the person you are talking to understand you better.
For example, some employees thrive under detailed instructions depicting the steps, the order they must be completed, and the timeline it needs to be completed. Other employees may thrive under creative liberty and be given just a couple of guidelines to do their best work.