Evolving Workplace Communication Throughout Your Career
Clarity is essential to being a strong communicator and guiding a team. Those in leadership positions are required to use a great deal of compromise and self-awareness to adapt to their ever-changing environment. As you gain more responsibility at work, you will need the ability to develop a solid understanding of those around you to effectively communicate. Griffith University’s accelerated online MBA offers students the opportunity to build practical communication techniques that can be utilised throughout your career.
How communication in the workplace changes
Effective Communication in the workplace can take time to implement but remains central to building a more positive company culture. Whether it is external, interpersonal or inter-group, being able to appropriately utilise skills in conversation is essential to interpreting the needs of others. A higher performance culture within a team can be established when information is exchanged fluidly and collaboration efforts are strengthened. Those entering a higher position will consistently need to alter their communication style to maintain this culture. Whether that involves delivering a detailed briefing for a junior employee or presenting succinct presentation to someone in a management position, the requirements and skill sets vary.
Improving communication skills in the workplace
Clear and concise communication can inspire trust and confidence in any setting. This kind of clarity can encourage colleagues to speak openly about their needs, without the usual hesitation or uncertainty about the repercussions. As stated in Forbes, aligning your values and behaviours can provide a sense of authenticity and clarity when communicating to both employees and stakeholders, and influence others to feel just as empowered.
Tone of voice
There is a clear connection between tone of voice and productivity. Tone conveys meaning so it’s important to be how your tone of voice may be interpreted. If a manager sounds irritated or disinterested when speaking to a colleague, this can impact morale and future engagement. Tone doesn’t only influence how employees perceive their manager and colleagues, but can also affect their willingness to listen or get involved. By maintaining a respectful tone and presenting a willingness to listen and reflect, others will be more inclined to cooperate.
An inability to communicate effectively with those in the workplace can lead to isolation and inefficiency. The first step to bring more effective communication into the workplace is to identify the type of person you’re speaking with. Try and understand their needs and preferred ways of communicating. Someone may be assertive, passive or more on the aggressive side; while others remain calm, clear and balanced. A different issue may need to be address first, or an employee might need prior warning before the conversation. Maintaining equal footing, without being too casual, will ensure that messages are delivered clearly and respectfully.
Methods of communication
As a leader you must attempt to establish strong lines of communication so that employees aren’t left questioning themselves or the task at hand. As stated in the Harvard Business Review, leaders usually approach a conversation by explaining the ‘what’ of their insights’ and the ‘how’ of applying the findings’, especially in a professional environment.
By applying this type of clarity with visual signs of active listening, performance levels within a workspace can also be improved. It must be noted that performance culture can be highly dependent on the environment itself and by creating a receptive team space so that employees will become comfortable with speaking freely.
Signs of effective communication methods usually involve a personal approach, so that the other person feels valued and credible and minimise misunderstanding. Throughout an online MBA, these methods are reinforced, allowing students to practice and shape their techniques through situations that require problem solving. To tackle issues in the workplace effectively, students will need to attentively display empathy and acknowledgement through active listening. This can then in turn effectively minimise defensive behaviour and strengthen relationships.
How to communicate effectively, no matter the situation.
Those entering more senior roles will be required to take on extra responsibility and a stronger team management approach. With the addition of a higher workload, this can be overwhelming, but it’s important to bring a team into harmony. If leaders are not clear, their colleagues may resort to reading between the lines, speculating or get things wrong. It’s crucial to understand how different situations in the workplace can be handled appropriately.
Internal and external communication
Effective communication requires both sides to listen and understand the other’s point of view without being dismissive. From an internal standpoint, the aim is to guide, inform and motivate others through a personal approach. While external parties require reinforcement and assurance that the relationship remains strong.
There are various ways to relay information to a team through both formal and informal channels. Whether it be via email or through a more established working platform like Slack, communication can remain free-flowing and less restricted. It’s important that the conversation needs to be relayed in a way that makes others feel validated and heard. If a problem arises, accusations must be avoided, and simply asking the reason behind the error and leaving space for a response is all you need to do.
For every situation that requires a more formal approach to communication, it’s important to take the lead. By keeping the tone clear and concise, you can effectively make a point and deliver an intended message without blame or questioning. If confrontation needs to be tackled, transparency and honestly remain the key to finding solutions and next steps.
In-person and virtual communication
Adjusting to virtual communication in a workplace can be difficult. The physical cues are removed and the ability to connect can be difficult. Without the clear indication of body language, the key point of reference sits in the tone of voice and level of interaction with the audience.
The act of presenting can be a very engaging experience when handled with confidence and certainty. A presentation can be elevated by maintaining eye contact, reading the room and promoting small talk to put the viewers at ease. Ask questions to the audience throughout the presentation to incite deeper concentration and a better flow, whilst keeping them engaged. This informs the viewer that while you are passionate about sharing your knowledge, you are also see their input as valuable.
If presenting online, it’s important to avoid seeming detached, despite a screen separating you from the audience. By first establishing an agenda, the presenter and audience will understand where the presentation is headed and can write down notes beforehand. This also allows space for others to raise any additional concerns they may wish to address during presenting. By encouraging questions throughout the presentation and within the online chat box, both parties will feel more aligned. With the addition of assisted visuals and expressive body language, viewers are more likely to stay on track and avoid misinterpretation.
Gain the skills to effectively communicate in the workplace
Providing a sense of clarity and transparency remains key to effective communication. Whether you’re addressing an employee, colleague or client, the methods of communication used can change the outcome of a situation. To set a professional standard that others can aspire to and replicate, it’s important to gain the skills to actively adapt to the needs of others. Griffith University’s 100% accelerated online MBA can provide students with the opportunity to learn communication techniques required within a corporate setting. Designed for those looking to excel within their careers, in a more flexible online learning environment.
To learn more about Griffith University’s accelerated online Master of Business Administration, call us on 1300 737 945 or book a call with an advisor who can explain all the various networking opportunities and benefits to this program.