Your ability to communicate effectively significantly influences your professional success, from leaving positive impressions on hiring managers during interviews to being able to collaborate on group initiatives in the workplace. Check out these tips for having effective communication in the workplace:
Be an Active Listener
The key to being a good communicator is how well you listen. Being an active listener prevents miscommunication since you are less likely to miss crucial information the other party is conveying. Plus, active listening can give you insight into what type of information the other party needs and/or would be interested to know about.
Avoid Making Assumptions
Breakdowns in communication often occur because of incorrect assumptions being made about the other party’s intention. Be open-minded and avoid assigning judgment as to the perceived meaning behind a message. For example, a hiring manager’s email response that comes across as curt or rude to you could actually just be them respecting your time and only wanting to convey crucial information and give you a speedy response. Responding to others without making assumptions can keep you from causing unnecessary tension or conflict.
Consider Other People’s Perspectives
Effective communication is a balance between what you want the other party to take in versus what they are interested in knowing. Consider other people’s perspectives when you are deciding how to communicate your key points. Think about what information would be most relevant to their needs and make that your main focus. If you provide too much extraneous detail, the other party is less likely to give their full attention and could miss out on crucial information.
Self-Reflect After Miscommunication
When communication goes awry, this is the ideal time to troubleshoot and see if you have room for improvement. Self-reflect after a miscommunication to determine what went wrong, what role you played, and what you could do differently in the future to prevent a similar incident from occurring. If you are unsure, consider asking a trusted colleague for their feedback on how you could improve your communication skills – they may be able to give you insight you would have otherwise not been able to discover on your own.
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