13 Effective Communication Strategies To Implement At Work
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 28 September 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Professionals in every field use communication to interact with colleagues and share important information. Using strategies to enhance communication in the workplace can improve interactions with others and create a better work environment. If you want to improve your communication, consider implementing strategies to develop these skills.
In this article, we provide a list of 13 communication strategies, discuss the types of communication, explain potential challenges and offer a few tips for implementation.
13 Effective Communication Strategies
Many professionals communicate with team members, managers and clients regularly, so it is beneficial to have several communication strategies to utilise. Here are 13 effective strategies for improving your workplace communication:
1. Speak transparently
When you are interacting with others in the workplace, it is important to speak transparently. When you can share several details, try to include these in your message to ensure that everyone understands what you are conveying to them. Transparency in communication is a helpful strategy to build trust amongst team members because it helps people feel included.
2. Be respectful
It is crucial to be respectful when communicating in the workplace. There are several strategies you can use to show respect for others. One strategy is refraining from interrupting when another person is speaking, which shows that you are listening to what they are saying. Another strategy is to listening to others when they communicate with you. When another person speaks, acknowledge that you hear their message.
3. Be consistent
Consistency in communication refers to regular messages and reliable information. It also refers to a way of communication that aligns with the company or team goals. When you communicate consistently, you can develop a collaborative mindset within your team as others learn to rely on you.
4. Meet face-to-face
If possible, consider meeting others face-to-face when having meetings. If you work remotely, consider using video communication software so you can see the other person. Meeting face-to-face can help you build professional relationships, communicate clearly and develop rapport with others in your workplace.
5. Use a visual
Sometimes it is useful to use a visual, especially when communicating with a group. A visual might be a paper handout, a slide show or a video. A visual might contain supplementary information or new details that you did not address in the meeting. Using a visual can emphasise your message, identify the key points and help the audience remember what you said.
6. Practice active listening
Practicing active listening is a communication strategy that develops mutual understanding and fosters trust between people. Active listening is the practice of attempting to listen, respond and engage with another person. You can practice active listening in individual interactions or when conversing with a group.
7. Create a welcoming environment
It is important to create a welcoming environment to foster effective, honest communication in the workplace. For instance, if your team has regular meeting and everyone feels empowered to share their opinions, the team can develop unique solutions to challenges at work. A welcoming environment can lead to better ideas and more cohesion within the team. You can create this type of environment through active listening by responding positively when someone shares.
8. Establish a useful tone
Your tone of voice can have a significant impact on how others interpret your message. For instance, if you are discussing a serious topic, your tone can be confident and firm rather than playful or unsure. Establish a useful tone from the beginning of your message to ensure everyone understands the meaning of your words.
9. Limit distractions
It is more effective to communicate with others when you have no distractions. When communicating, consider avoiding checking your mobile device, shutting off your computer and limiting any other distractions that may prohibit you from listening to the conversation. Not only does this enhance the quality of the interaction, but it shows the other party that they have your full attention.
10. Offer and request feedback
Offering and requesting feedback shows that you care about others and their opinions on a particular topic or issues in the workplace. Whether you are discussing a new project, introducing new policies or conducting a performance review, feedback is a useful tool. Not only does it provide the other person with an opportunity to speak up, but it also can lead to fresh ideas and including new perspectives.
11. Pay attention to body language
Body language and facial expressions can communicate some messages effectively. Note your nonverbal cues when communicating and adjust if cues are not supporting what you are trying to communicate. In addition, maintaining eye contact shows you are listening to the other person and that you are participating in the conversation.
12. Use e-mail etiquette
Using e-mail etiquette is a great strategy for effective communication. This type of etiquette involves using appropriate grammar and spelling, addressing people by their names and including a signature. Before you send an e-mail or another written message, proofread and make any necessary edits. This ensures your written communication is professional and conveys your message accurately.
13. Use a different approach
When you communicate with others regularly, it is useful to try a different approach to share your message. For instance, if you always send a weekly newsletter, consider hosting a meeting once a month to discuss the content of the newsletter to ensure everyone understands the information. Introducing creative ways to communicate with others keeps people engaged by using a more unique strategy than normal.
Types Of Communication
There are a few types of communication that you might use in the workplace daily. You can apply strategies for effective communication to any of these types of communication. Here is a list of the main forms:
Verbal: This includes conversations, presentations, video chatting and phone calls.
Written: This type of communication includes the written word such as in e-mails, memos, reports, website content and documents.
Nonverbal: This includes body language, facial expressions and general appearance. For instance, following the dress code for a formal event communicates compliance and respect, whereas wearing jeans to a formal event can show a lack of respect.
Potential Communication Challenges
Individuals communicate in various ways each day, but not all communication is effective. How we convey information can have a significant impact on how that information translates and might create a barrier that prevents the person from properly understanding you. The following are types of communication barriers that can arise in the workplace:
A physical communication barrier refers to any physical obstacles that can impede communication. For instance, if a manager works in a separate office, employees might not communicate with their manager frequently. Other types of physical barriers include closed doors, office layout and where people sit within the office.
An emotional communication barrier refers to emotional obstacles like distrust, lack of confidence or feeling unsupported. These types of barriers can affect other aspects of work as well. If you recognise an emotional barrier, consider scheduling a meeting with that person so you can determine a solution together.
A language barrier includes many types of linguistic factors. For instance, using advanced business jargon can make your message difficult to understand. Other examples include unfamiliar expressions, abbreviations or slang.
Tips For Implementing Strategies
When implementing strategies for communication, it is necessary for you to practice regularly before these strategies become habitual. Here are a few tips to consider as you implement these strategies:
Celebrate accomplishments. If you successfully communicate with your team or with a coworker, consider celebrating that accomplishment, especially if you used a strategy for improving your communication.
Use tools. There are many digital and print tools you can use to enhance your communication. Using these tools can provide you with templates and examples to reference.
Communicate with other departments. Instead of restricting communication to people in your department, try communicating with other departments. This can help you learn more about the company and create beneficial professional relationships.
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