To hone your communication skills, you’ll need to pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues, keep your emotions in check, and actively listen to your coworkers. To sharpen your abilities, consider adopting the following communication best practices:
- Become an office diplomat. Understand the challenges, expectations and ultimate goals of your coworkers, and find similarities and common ground to help you accomplish your goals. Be sensitive to others’ beliefs, cultural norms, ideas, and feelings. Try to find reasonable compromises and avoid steamrolling your way through meetings and projects.
- Remember that authentic relationships yield great returns and drive better conversations. When time allows, try to have direct, face-to-face conversations to nurture your relationships with your coworkers. Learn about their backgrounds and lives outside of work to get more insight into their communication style and the unique perspective they bring to the table.
- Leave emotions at the door. When many personalities converge, it’s often difficult to remain calm and respond with logic and reason rather than emotion when communicating. At the end of the day, you and your coworkers want to reach the same destination, even though you may disagree on the path to get there. Come prepared to conversations with data and facts, not opinions and feelings.
- Actively listen and respond thoughtfully. Ask questions and try to approach your coworkers from a place of empathy and thoughtfulness. Avoid interrupting and do your best to understand what motivates your colleagues to solve problems as a team.
- Assume people mean well, and respond respectfully even when others don’t. Resist the urge to sink to the level of rude or aggressive coworkers. If you feel the need to respond with negativity, step away from the conversation or email, take a break, and re-approach the situation with a clear, level head when you’ve had time to cool down.
Good communication, like other valuable skills, takes practice. No one is going to be a perfect communicator 100% of the time, but it’s important to continue to improve and keep your communication skills fresh.
If you’re looking for ways to build on your skills, join us for the upcoming BMA NEXT “How-to” Happy Hour, where we’ll hear from communication expert Joan Moser of Spoken Impact on how to avoid common communication pitfalls and build confidence in your communication abilities.
Amy is the Customer Success Marketing Specialist for Siteimprove North America, where she manages planning and execution of customer engagement strategy for more than 2,000 clients internationally. Amy has worked in various roles from support to sales to marketing in the B2B Software as a Service industry for over 8 years. Amy holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota.