How to communicate better in the workplace

Everyone is different. If you think you know how to communicate well with everyone you work with, that may be a stretch. To become a master communicator in your office, here are a few things you need to remember.

Body language speaks volumes: Sometimes words say one thing, while body language conveys a completely different message. This is especially true in communication between a boss and a subordinate. If you’re the boss you probably hear “yes” a lot. Sometimes body language will be saying no even when the word “yes” comes out. Pay attention to clues that will tip you off to mixed messages. Sometimes it’s hard to say no even when you really need to.

No empty promises: If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. If something seems impossible, make a counter offer. Maybe you can’t finish a project in 3 days, but you definitely can in 5. Failing to come through on a promise will only make you look less credible and untrustworthy.

Make a list: Don’t weigh your coworkers down with a billion emails. Make some lists. Check them once or twice and then email your coworker one time (and be nice).

Communicate the right way: Everyone has their preferences when it comes to office communication. Some like to talk on the phone (me), some like emails, and some like quick messages, like in Slack. Pay attention to the ways your coworkers prefer to converse or feel free to ask them straight up what they prefer. It will be good for all parties involved.

Be better: I know you feel like I’ve hit you over the head with the word “listen”, so I’m sure you’re already listening. Now listen better. Don’t interrupt. Don’t think about what you’re going to say and zone out. LISTEN. When it’s your turn to talk, take your time and respond to the things that you actually heard.


John Pettit

John Pettit

John Pettit is the Managing Editor for Web: Details