9 tips to communicate better at work


Speaking is one of the first things we learn how to do. But, learning how to speak does not mean we ever learn how to communicate, which can have a serious affect on our career and relationships with our co-workers. The ability to communicate better at work offers considerable advantage to your productivity and your career path.

By learning how to communicate with the people you work with, you will greatly improve the dynamic between you and your co-workers, as well as the productivity on projects – especially team ones.

Additionally, you will also be seen as more of a professional because of the way you speak and interact around the office, which could boost your career. It will show your boss how seriously you take yourself and your career and could lead to more responsibilities.

1. Choose your words

Effective communication is not about trying to confuse people with a bunch of big words or making them work to figure out what you mean. It is all about choosing the most accurate and appropriate words, which can be done by being clear, brief and to the point.

Figure out what you want to say, then the best way to say it — which may also be the simplest and most direct way.

It is important to be clear about what you want, otherwise the meaning of what you say can be lost or misinterpreted because you keep rambling and missing your own point.

2. Be heard

Being heard does not mean yelling over a crowded and noisy room. Being heard means that what you say in an email, presentation or around the water cooler is actually listened to.

But, if you feel like you are not being heard in the workplace, it might help if you develop your abilities to speak with confidence, order information so that you grab attention or create interest — and know what you want to say.

This can be done by preparing what you are going to say in advance, practicing in front of friends and family and making sure that everything you want to say is ordered in a way that makes sense logically and chronologically for the audience.

It may take time, but in the end, it will be worth it and it will help you develop your confidence to speak up and be heard.

3. Write well

Writing is one of the best forms of communication because it gives you the opportunity to consider what you want to say with greater care. Additionally, writing also gives you the opportunity to:

  • Get all of your ideas out on the table;
  • Be articulate about your position; and
  • Persuade people of your argument without having to fumble your way through a meeting about why you need X, Y and Z.

But, if you’re not confident about your writing skills and you want to improve it, there are strategies you can follow:

    • Take a writing class- professionals usually do know what they’re talking about; or
    • Ask someone, either a friend or coworker, to read what you written and ask them to give you feedback.



4. Engage with your audience

Boredom is a killer and there is no point in talking to a room if no one is listening.

Engaging your audience and building a rapport with them is an important part of communication, especially when you are trying to convince them of something.

But to do this effectively, you will also need to see things from their point of view and convince them of why what you’re saying is important. Make sure you know your audience, and be aware of what their view and agenda is likely to be.

There is no one way of communication because no two audiences or mediums are the same.

5. Be direct AND nice (Consider Your Tone)

Do you know what you want? Do you know how to be nice? Good. Because knowing how to do both of these things is key to having good workplace relationships.

Consider your tone because the way you say something can affect the way people receive it.

For example, if you say something quite forcefully, people might think you’re angry. And the same goes for being sarcastic/snappy= annoyed, melancholic=depressed, and so on.

6. Proofread your emails

Proofreading them before they are sent is crucial, because being in a rush can cause us to be careless about our spelling and grammar.

And while we may have the occasional fit of laughter over how wrong we got it, not proofreading emails can change what we meant to say into something completely different and take away from the seriousness of your email and authority.

It also looks unprofessional to have spelling and punctuation mistakes, typos or porr grammar. So be careful and check your email twice like Santa does his list.

7. Listen

Listening can be difficult. Especially when you think you know what the person talking wants or is going to say.

To become a better listener when talking to someone, put away any distractions, like your phone, iPad or laptop, and then give them the time to speak before responding. This way you will be able to give them your undivided attention.

8. Pay attention to body language

Whether we mean to or not, our body language can speak volumes. This is because there is more to communication than just the words that come out of our mouths. Communication also comes across in our body language and should be paid attention to just as much as what we say.

For example, tiredness and being easily distracted might be a sign of boredom, crossed arms and tense behavior might suggest someone is angry or closed off to the communication, and a slumped body might suggest someone is disinterested.

Additionally, being able to read someone’s body language can be a helpful tool because you will be able tell if you are losing the room during a presentation or if someone is listening to you during a work meeting.

9. Ask for feedback and practice

Communication is a skill that must be practiced and one that even experienced professionals never stop getting better at.

Additionally, asking for feedback is something you should never be embarrassed about because, while it may mean going back a step or two and learning something about yourself, it will show that you are not above improving and further developing your skills.

So, no matter how long you have been in your career or how much you think you know, never be afraid to learn something new and embrace new ways of doing things.

And as they say, practice makes perfect.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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  1. Pingback: Management Resources Weekly Round-up - 13 June 2016 - Communication at Work - CFCD

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