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8 Ways to Promote Effective Communication in the Workplace

If you're a small business owner, it's critical to communicate effectively with your team. Open and clear communication will help eliminate confusion and misunderstandings and enable you and your employees to be more productive. The following pointers can help you improve your communication in the workplace:

Two co-workers have a meeting.

  1. Choose the most appropriate medium. As The Balance Careers points out, it's advisable to select the right medium for the kind of conversation you want to have. For example, if you need to address an employee's performance, it's probably best to do it one-on-one, while if you have to add another task to a team member's to-do list, you can send that person a quick email.
  2. Only use communication tools you're comfortable with. In today's workplace, people use everything from phone calls, instant messaging apps, text messages and emails. However, not everyone is comfortable with all of those methods. If you don't feel as confident with one over another, be sure to communicate that to your team.
  3. Leverage meetings when you want to get team input. Meetings are a good opportunity to allow all of your team members to contribute. For a meeting to be productive, create an agenda and set some ground rules, such as not interrupting others and giving everybody the chance to speak.
  4. Be clear on what you want to say. When you have something to communicate, think of the clearest and most concise way to get your message across. Even if it's bad news, it's often better to be transparent so people know what they're dealing with. That way, they don't come away from the conversation confused.
  5. Listen carefully. When someone is speaking to you, pay attention to what that person is saying. Don't try to multitask, as it could cause you to miss something and misinterpret the message. Practice active listening by nodding and repeating the last word of the speaker's sentences now and wait until the person has finished speaking before responding.
  6. Ask for clarification if necessary. If you receive a message you don't understand, ask the person who sent it to explain it further.
  7. Avoid overly complicated words or jargon. Small Business Trends advises that not everyone has the same vocabulary. That's why it's wise to use simple terms that can't be misinterpreted.
  8. Read emails and messages before sending them. When communicating in writing, take some extra time to read over your message before sending it. That way, you'll have the opportunity to ensure it conveys the right tone and message.

Navigating the complexities of workplace communication is an essential aspect of leading a successful team. By focusing on getting your message across and listening carefully to your employees when they have something to contribute, you can make interactions smoother and as a result create a more collaborative, productive work environment.

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