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11 June 2022
How to communicate better at work and why it’s important
Unsplash © Annie Spratt

How to communicate better at work and why it’s important

Effective communication in the workplace is fundamental for progress, innovation, and teamwork. Despite this, the importance of clear communication is often overlooked by employers and employees alike, leading to disputes, confusion, dissatisfaction and high employee turnover (to name a few).

Learning how to communicate effectively and understanding why it’s important can have a significant impact on your professional success. 

In this article, we will be sharing how you can communicate better at work

The three types of communication

What many people do not realise is that, as humans, there are three main ways we communicate with each other. Most people assume communication is predominantly verbal. However, scientists have learned that up to 90% is, in fact, nonverbal. Let’s take a look at the three types of communication. 

Verbal communication 

The most commonly understood type of communication is, of course, verbal. We all know that in order to communicate with others, verbal communication predominantly uses sounds, language, and words to get a message across. This can be in an intimate one-to-one setting, in front of a group, or as a form of public address. 

Written Communication 

Written communication in the workplace is extremely common. Individuals connect with their colleagues, managers, team leaders, and clients via tools such as email, Slack, and Basecamp. Most companies require clear and effective written communication to be provided in the form of documentation, emails, letters, reports, or memos (to name a few). Written communication is typically followed up by verbal communication in the form of a telephone call or meeting.

Nonverbal communication 

As we have already discussed, a huge amount of our communication is nonverbal. This means that you are sending information, such as your thoughts and feelings, to others through your body language, eye contact (or lack thereof), and physical gestures. Everything from the way you are sitting to the expression on your face can communicate how you are feeling or what you are thinking. 

How to communicate better at work 

Learning how to communicate better at work will play an integral part in your business success. Below we share our top tips to help you communicate better.  

Provide an open door policy 

More often than not, communication at work is greatly improved when employers keep communication channels open. Introducing an open door policy is an excellent way to make yourself more available to your team and help your employees feel more comfortable by providing a private space to talk, if needed. 

Why It’s Important: introducing an open door policy is an excellent way to improve company culture and show your support for your employees. Open door policies also provide a private space to talk. This is important as it supports those who may be struggling with their mental health and want to discuss this privately. 

Focus on clarity 

So much of communicating better at work relies on clarity. Being clear and concise in your communications helps eliminate misunderstandings and avoid any confusion. We suggest you prioritise speaking clearly and plainly in meetings. Avoid going off on a tangent by setting clear goals for each meeting and having your notes to hand. You should also encourage questions at the end to ensure everyone has understood what you’ve said. 

Why It’s Important: it is exceptionally easy for things to be miscommunicated in the workplace. This can lead to missed client meetings, unmet deadlines, or work that has been completed incorrectly. All of these mistakes are costly to your business, resulting in lost time and dissatisfied clients. Clear communication avoids any misunderstandings and helps to streamline business processes to ensure long-term business success. 

Actively listen to others 

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of effective communication is the importance of good listening. If you want to improve communication in your workplace, you need to learn how to actively listen.  

Active listening is all about showing a person you are listening to what they are saying. This means making eye contact, nodding your head, and asking questions. Active listening is one of the best ways you can prioritise better communication in the workplace. It shows others you care about what they are saying and you’re involved and present in the conversation. 

Why It’s Important: active listening in the workplace is essential if you want to communicate more effectively. Active listening is a great way to show your care and support for others. It helps build trust and stronger relationships, promoting a healthier, happier work culture. 

Keep in touch with your team 

The way we work has changed over the last few years. More people than ever before are now working from home and staying connected can be a challenge. While it’s fair to say most people aren’t big fans of meetings in general, a scheduled weekly team meeting is a great way to check-in with your team and reconnect after the weekend. These team meetings don’t have to take long – just 15 minutes is enough to reconnect and will help set your team up for success. 

Why It’s Important: keeping in touch with your team on a regular basis is essential if you want to anticipate problems before they arise, spot the signs someone may be struggling, and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to work, project deadlines, and the week’s schedule. Good team communication fosters better teamwork, more innovation, and improved job satisfaction. 

Final words 

Effective communication at work is essential and, as you can see, it can have a significant impact on your professional relationships and job progression. We hope the tips in this article will help you communicate better at work and in other areas of your life, too. 

Daniel Groves achieved a 1st class honours degree in Business Economics. Since graduating, Daniel has collaborated with a number of online publications to further develop his knowledge and share his experience with like-minded entrepreneurs, business owners and growth strategists.