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Communication is key. It’s the key to healthy relationships, it’s the key to getting what you need, and it’s the key in business. Learning to be a better communicator in the workplace can help you build up both your business and your self-confidence. It helps to maintain a positive atmosphere in the workplace. It also helps you as a team to accomplish more by eliminating confusion and encouraging cohesion. The best part? There are always ways to improve your communication.

Be Confident

As you communicate, be confident. This doesn’t mean showing that you’re better than others or that you think all your ideas are perfect. It’s the opposite. It’s understanding that you and your team can have better ideas together.

Confidence helps you to speak up, but confidence also helps you listen better. This is because you understand that others’ ideas don’t threaten your own. It helps you to express your ideas more clearly. It also helps you to mutually respect each other. Being confident is a skill that you can learn and can practice in normal life. You’ll find yourself communicating more effectively the more confident you are.

Show Compassion

Sometimes it is hard to understand others’ views, but the key to understanding others is through compassion and empathy. When you seek to understand someone, you will be able to communicate better with them. This is especially important when you are speaking with someone of a different culture than yours. Making assumptions about someone can be very dangerous. It keeps you from being able to understand them completely. After you understand them better, choose your own words carefully so that you can avoid miscommunication.

There are many non-verbal means of communication that are effective at showing compassion. Taking the time to listen and having open body language can put people at ease. It assures them that you’re listening and you care. Consider what ways others have put you at ease as you speak to them, and exemplify those methods as well.

Actively Listen

Active listening is an important skill in communicating. In the workplace, it is the way you gain and retain information from others. It is imperative in problem-solving. Active listening also reduces conflict because there are fewer misunderstandings. By showing your coworkers that you carefully listen to their ideas, you also build trust.

It isn’t as natural as you would think to actively listen, and it takes practice. Active listening isn’t limited to simply shutting up and not interrupting. It includes being empathetic to the one you are listening to and seeking to understand. This can come in many forms. Maybe if you are struggling to retain information, ask if it’s alright if you take notes. If you do not understand exactly what they are saying, ask clarifying questions. Lastly, reflect carefully before responding.

As you communicate better in the workplace using these tips, you will see better relationships with your coworkers, employer, and employees. You will see an increase in productivity and creativity. Your workplace will be a better environment for everyone.

Read this next: How You Can Apply Communication Skills in the Workplace