Talking to colleagues feels like it should be the easiest thing in the world, but we’ve all been caught in moments when we’ve not known how to navigate a conversation – or regretted that we failed to motivate an employee to achieve their best work. In fact, communication is a skill like any other, and while some may have an innate talent for the ‘tough talk’ there are always more strategies and techniques you can take onboard.
Like any work meeting, your work-oriented conversation will benefit from preparation: be sure what your point is, and what you want to come out of the conversation – but also prepare yourself mentally to listen and to adapt. This is a team situation, after all. Make a list of any questions you need answered, and if confidence is an issue for you then try to recall some previous successes in your mind before you enter the room.
Be sure to speak clearly and slowly – this will help the other party to understand you, as well as aiding your own confidence and air of authority. Structure your points with concise descriptions, and sum it up when you’ve finished to ensure the conversation stays on track – you might even consider asking them to recap your points, so you know that you’ve been understood. Then it’s time to take a step back and listen. Prepare questions as they talk, but wait until they’re finished rather than interrupting. You can often learn more about a person or situation by letting them run to the end of their steam.
Communication is about thinking, about empathy, and also about a physical situation – your body posture, breath and eye contact all play in role in keeping each of you alert and engaged. For a few more tips on how to hone the body language element of your communication – and to fine-tune the aspects mentioned above – be sure to check out this new infographic, which comes with a step-by-step guide to ensuring your workplace communication remains top notch.
The infographic below was compiled by NetCredit. Tips for effective workplace communication infographic.