Updated: Sep 8
Dealing with a demanding boss or team can be tough, but it's crucial to master the art of effective communication to succeed in the workplace. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned employee, it's vital to establish open channels of communication with your colleagues and superiors. This way, not only can you enhance your own performance, but you can also contribute to the overall success of your team and company. To help you communicate better at work, here are five tactics to consider.
1. Be clear and concise: Eighty-six percent of employees blame lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures according to a pre-covid study by Fierce, Inc. This means that you should avoid beating around the bush or using vague language that can be misinterpreted, which is easier said than done. Instead, try to express your thoughts in a straightforward manner that gets your point across effectively. By doing so, you'll be able to communicate your needs more efficiently and avoid any confusion or misunderstandings arising from unclear language. This is a tip you can take home with you too, since communication is actually vital in all areas of your life.
2. Use "I" statements: When communicating your needs, it's important to use clear and non-confrontational language. One effective way to do this is by using "I" statements. By framing your request in terms of your own needs and feelings, you can avoid coming across as accusatory or critical. For example, instead of saying "You need to give me more time to complete this project," you could say "I need more time to complete this project." This simple shift in language can make a big difference in how your message is received and can help you build stronger, more positive relationships with the people around you.
3. Provide solutions: By doing so, you not only demonstrate your problem-solving skills, but you also show that you're committed to helping others and contributing to a positive outcome. Additionally, proposing solutions can help facilitate a more productive conversation and lead to a quicker resolution. It's also important to note that offering potential solutions doesn't mean you have all the answers or that your ideas are the only ones that matter. Rather, it's a way to open up a dialogue and work collaboratively towards a solution. As a manager, I am always thrilled when an employee comes to me with a problem and a potential solution already mapped out. It makes those individuals stand out as thought leaders in the organization.
4. Follow up: When it comes to following up on your needs and requests, it's important to remember that persistence pays off. Politely squeaky wheels get the grease. Don't be afraid to reach out and remind others about priorities or deliverables that are creating a bottleneck. This shows that you take your work seriously and are committed to getting things done. By staying organized and proactive, you can ensure that your needs are met and that you can achieve your personal KPIs and goals. So if you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed, remember that it's always better to be politely proactive and take action than to sit back and wait for things to happen.
5. Stay professional: In order to effectively communicate your needs, it's essential to approach the situation with a level head and a professional demeanor. Avoid letting your emotions get the best of you and refrain from becoming defensive, as this can often lead to misunderstandings and tensions. Instead, take the time to carefully consider your words and always strive to maintain a respectful tone. By doing so, you can help ensure that your message is received in the way that you intend, and that your needs are addressed in a fair and timely manner. Here's a great set of phrases to add to your professional vocabulary from Wrike
Effective communication is essential in the workplace, and it's an opportunity to earn your boss's and team's respect. Implementing the five strategies above can improve your communication skills and contribute to a more productive and positive work environment. It's important to be sincere, enthusiastic, and thoughtful in your interactions, while actively listening to others and striving for mutual understanding. With practice and patience, you can become a skilled and confident communicator, leading to greater career success and personal growth.