Communication in the workplace

The purpose of communication is to connect with others, to understand and to be understood. It also enables us:

  • Learn
  • Make decisions
  • Build relationships
  • Build teams

We all communicate differently because of:

  • Belief systems
  • Values
  • Past experiences
  • Cultural differences
  • Our inherent personality types

At the heart of all problems within an organisation is ineffective communication. This is often due to the fact that we have not been taught how to communicate effectively. We talk more than we listen and we react to situations and people before we have taken time to think and respond in an appropriate way.

Things to do to make it better:

Work on yourself

  • Always tell the truth.
  • Don’t exaggerate.
  • Don’t gossip.
  • Use helpful langauage:
    • Is what you want to say necessary and kind?

Respond to others

  • Be present and attentive.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Show interest.
  • Hear what they are saying from their point of view.

Question to connect

  • Ask questions to clarify what the sender has said.
  • Ask questions to show a sincere interest in what the sender is saying.

Listen actively

  • Use your body language to show you are listening.
  • Avoid interruptions – be mentally present.
  • Use questions to check meaning.

Summarise to ensure that you both have the same understanding of what has been said or asked.

What is one thing you can do better to ensure that you communicate effectively?

Watch the video below to understand the different steps in the communication cycle