This Article is About
effective communication skills
communication barriers
coworkers
body language
disagreements
misunderstanding
How To Achieve Effective Communication Skills In The Workplace
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How to Achieve Effective Communication Skills In the Workplace

Developing good communication is essential to a successful business. If a business lacks effective interaction among employees, a few things will surface. Disagreements, stress and consequently execution and efficiency will decrease, and the business will lose revenues. When there is poor interaction, trying to turn a group of people into a highly profitable, successful team is often unattainable.

Therefore it is crucial to continually build up and practice effective communication skills (i.e. trainings or seminars). Developing efficient communication skills among coworkers is a must. But, in order to do so it is necessary to understand what causes communication to break down and what types of skills are needed for effective communication.

Why is communication challenging in business?

Three core issues exist causing misunderstanding and thus creating communication barriers among coworkers.

Issue #1: The non-verbal aspect of communication. What we say is important, but how we say it is even more important. Fifty-five percent is non-verbal and thirty-eight percent is your tone, which means the speaking of words is only seven percent of a message. Your body language and tone hold a greater weight in a message than the actual words. But, this does not mean we can say anything we want. Our words can bring joy or hurt to someone. We need to make sure our words match our tone and body language.

Issue #2: Each of us communicates differently. There are different communication styles and temperaments. Some people want to talk, when others are quiet. A person who is direct could come across as aggressive or overbearing to a person who wants to relate. Or, another person needs a couple of days to make a decision while someone else cannot understand why it is taking this long. These differences can cause fences or barriers to be created among coworkers.

Issue #3: We judge people who are different. By default, we like people who are like us. Furthermore, we have a tendency to expect people to be like us, and they are not, we perceive those differences as wrong. When someone has a different opinion, they can become difficult, or even complicated. It is easy to get along with someone who has the same thoughts.

Here are four ways to help your team improve their communication.

First, encourage your team to get to know each other's temperaments. Take time to read and learn about temperaments and personalities. Encourage your team not to judge those differences as wrong. The goal is to get your team to welcome those differences. If you need help, put your team through a personality and temperament training course.

Second, each coworker needs to come to the team ready and willing. What I mean is this? If someone is not willing to interact, it makes communication difficult. The willingness to communicate is vital. Now, someone could come across as unwilling when in truth communication could be hard for them. They may feel they don't have the best communication skills. Encourage him or her to talk to someone who seems to communicate well and learn from them. Have him or her work on improving their communication skills daily.

Third, have each team member get feedback from a peer or a co-worker regarding their tone of voice and body language. We all believe we are doing our best to communicate effectively but in reality it is really tough to be aware of your non-verbal messages. So, have each coworker ask another whom they trust, what message(s) am I portraying with my body language? How is my tone? Each employee needs to be open to hear the constructive criticism though. A third party often is the best way to instruct this process.

Fourth, encourage your team to take the time to really listen to each other carefully. Not only does this help eliminate misunderstandings, it helps builds trust.


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