Professionals communicate with colleagues, clients, and competitors every day. But some of them (some of you!), communicate with excellence. Read on for 5 things excellent professional communicators do in the workplace and adopt these habits today.
The following tips are a great starting point for improving communication. Try one or more of these today and see the impact for yourself.
Listen, a lot
Many people make the mistake of thinking that communication = talking. It does….sometimes. However, a lot of communication involves listening in order to learn what the other person is trying to tell you. You’ve got to pick up what they’re sending out. Excellent professional communicators know how to listen and understand. Listening effectively involves giving eye contact (when face-to-face) and using other signals (mmm-hmms, nods, laughs, etc.) to show that you are staying focused. When you listen well, others feel important. Listening is the easiest way to let others know that you care about their ideas.
Use emotional intelligence
Excellent communicators know that everyone brings their emotions to work. Understanding emotion in the workplace is far from soft or weak; the opposite is true. Emotions are powerful determinants for understanding motivation, persuasion, conflict, and happiness. These are all keys to a successful work life. Being emotionally intelligent means you can recognize emotions in yourself and others as well as harnessing those emotions appropriately. A great resource on this topic is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradbury and Greaves. [Affiliate Link]. The linked version comes with an access code to take a tailored quiz about your own emotional intelligence.
Frame it from their perspective
You can achieve greater success in your communication efforts if you frame your message from the other person’s point-of-view. See what I did there? Re-read that first sentence? It’s all about what YOU will get for YOUR needs. Framing a message based on the way the reader or listener will interpret it is a secret as old as time…but we keep forgetting to use it! Instead of dashing off an email telling someone what they need to do for you, take the extra time to consider how that will land in their inbox and impact their mood. Frame your pitches, proposals, social media posts, emails, and more from the other’s perspective and you’ll find an easier path before you.
Unresolved conflict can eat away at the morale of any team. Excellent professional communicators take care of conflict with tact and sensitivity. Read more here on Conflict Resolution at work. Conflict is healthy and normal, but letting it fester is not. Take on conflict like a boss (or if you just don’t know how- reach out to us and we’ll help!).
It’s tempting to imagine that when you’ve told someone something once, it will get done and all is fine. That’s not reality! People process communication and ideas at their own pace. You need to check back in with them to see how they’re doing. Whether you’ve set a small task for a supervisee or begun resolving conflict with a colleague, these topics require short check-ins. This could be in the form of an email, call, or text. You might need to schedule it on your calendar so you’ll remember to check-back with people at a reasonable date, but it’s always worth the effort. Checking in shows others that you still care about the topic and about the person.
Remember, communication is a process and it takes time for others to respond. Keep trying new communication techniques and you’ll see the pay off soon. Want to practice these or other communication techniques? Sign up for coaching today.