5 Ways to Supercharge Your Workplace Communication
By Nicole Grimes, M.Ed.
“Communication and Trust are the two main ingredients of a relationship.” -unknown
In order to really build a relationship, communication and trust are necessary! In 2018, we have so many hidden ways to communicate - Direct Message (DM), texting, email. I call this hidden because your voice and your face are not present. You get the luxury of hiding behind words. These words often get lost in translation, especially in the business arena. The same energy you use to text someone could be a direct phone call or a meeting to make sure that the message is clear!! How many times have you been in a situation of conflict on the job or in a business deal, and tried to use text messaging or email to solve a major issue?
Powerful communication is intentionally developed by incorporating powerful strategies into your everyday behavior.
Implement the 5 strategies below to Supercharge Your Communication in the Workplace:
Establish trust by initiating VERBAL conversations. These conversations can take place in a number of venues:
Open Meeting (face-to-face) - #1
By creating space to have a verbal conversation, you begin to establish a relationship. You get to look someone in the eye, reaPowed their physical body language, and learn more about him/her through observation. Additionally, by allowing someone in your space, you provide them with the opportunity to do the same. Stop hiding behind a computer or a device. If you are choosing email because you want to have a “paper trail,” send a follow-up email immediately following the conversation to capture everything discussed for both parties.
2. Develop strategies to communicate effectively. Effective is defined as successful in producing a desired or intended result. Consider the following in order to get your message across effectively.
Listen to learn
Slow down before responding
3. Find Your Voice. A place of frustration for us is often when we are trying to get a message across, and people are not understanding us. It is important that we are real, genuine, and expressive in a way that truly tells people who we are. Be confident enough to speak up for yourself so that others are clear on who you are. Remember, if the message is not coming across clearly, you need to look in the mirror. You are the only one who can fix this.
4. Be Responsive. How do you feel when someone ignores your text or email? Ok...now how do you feel when someone ignores your text/email in business? Sure, it could have not “gone through.” Let’s keep it real...people get in the habit of politely ignoring a text because there’s no true accountability there. So if someone sends you a text about something that needs to get done, and there’s no response, you have created a major problem. First of all, you are not building a relationship by refusing to have a head on conversation. Secondly, there are way too many interpretations of nonverbal behavior. In addition, texting is way too informal to get business accomplished. Start developing simple strategies to become confident enough to be able to say SOMETHING. Again, communication is based on trust and relationships. Are you intentionally creating a relationship or doing everything to sabotage it?
5. Look Conflict in the Eye. Sorry guys...conflict will occur. Be ready for it. In a professional setting, it is critical that you become skilled in how to engage in uncomfortable conversations. Lack of discussing “hard” topics lead to ineffective performance and minimal results. Again, when there is conflict...avoid texting or emailing. This is when there needs to be a verbal conversation. The book, Crucial Conversations states 7 steps to engage in dialogue when the stakes are high:
Start with the heart
Stay in dialogue
Make it safe
Don’t get hooked by emotion
Agree on a mutual purpose
Separate facts from story
Agree on a clear action plan
These steps are KEY to maintaining a healthy relationship in any setting. Work on developing this skill set. Another helpful tip is to literally plan out your conversation, using these tips, on paper, prior to having it. Going into a hard situation without a plan is a recipe for disaster.
Nicole Grimes, M.Ed. is an advocate for empowerment, education, and advocacy, with a passion for leading others to their purpose-driven lifestyle. A native of Louisiana, Nicole is currently employed as a Special Education Supervisor, and is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. As the CEO & Founder of Majestic Group, L.L.C., Nicole as a Corporate/Career Strategist and Image Consultant to create action-learning based opportunities to build capacity in the corporate woman through goal-based strategic planning, strengths-based coaching, image consulting, and leadership development. She also is actively involved in numerous organizations across the state of Louisiana, and throughout the country.
Contact Nicole to book a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org. To Book Nicole as a Empowerment Speaker email email@example.com. Learn more about Majestic Group by visiting www.thenicolemg.com
Patterson, Kerry. (Eds.) (2012) Crucial conversations :tools for talking when stakes are high New York : McGraw-Hill