In a world as social as ours, communication is more than just messages. It’s about perception, interpretation and ultimately a cogent ingredient for lasting relationships. There is the need to present messages in an unadulterated, undistorted way for the benefit of the end user. It pans across a host of industries and can mean/be used for different things in different situations.
It’s about expressions, mode of dressing, verbal exchanges, press releases, advertisements, choice of words, etc. Communication in the workplace is crucial to the survival of your role. Miscommunication can lead to arguments and blame games, so you want to be able to interpret tasks in the way that you can produce the intended results, sometimes even better.
To improve communication, see a few tips that can be applied to your workplace practice:
Context and content of the message
Try to understand the context and content of the message. Is it precise? If you find yourself saying “I think I’m supposed to…”, then you need clarification on the actual aim of the message and how you are to tackle it. Make sure you are always clear on what to do so as to avoid any form of back-and-forth. Pay attention to details and listen attentively for what is required of you.
If you need to ask questions based on your understanding of the message, ask them. If you have middlemen in between the process in which you go the message, ensure you clarify from the real source. It’s likely possible your message has been distorted.
Sometimes, you find out that the medium through which a message has been passed to you plays a vital role in its interpretation. There are different mediums through which tasks could be assigned in the workplace and they can be formal or informal. The formality that naturally accompanies e-mails could pose the task in a more heightened light than that which has been sent through the office chat system. You need to be able to look out for pointers like these to decide your approach to execution.
Have physical conversations
Maybe have physical conversations sometimes than sending an email? When things are written down, the receiver is most likely left with the ability to choose what tone the message is carrying. If you are sending something really formal, why not have a conversation with the receiver, briefing them about the task and informing them ahead of time to expect a transcript? Sometimes e-mails sent in the workplace are always perceived wrongly – which is socially bad for teams.
A workplace always swoons with people of different make ups. Their views and values are extremely different and so, the manner in which messages will be passed to them should be weighed through the same scale(s). You want to represent people’s beliefs and culture in a way that doesn’t feel discriminating or demeaning. Even the same words would sometimes have a different meaning to them than they will to you, so ensure you accord them the respect they deserve regardless of how different they are.
Delete your emotions
Especially when you are the receiver. If things go south because of a certain message, your emotions won’t matter because even if you are the executor, the sender owns the message and the intentions behind it. They have a mental picture of what the end result should be, so you should make sure to paint that picture for them in the way they have intended. Communication is usually underemphasized and barely taken seriously, but contributes greatly to an organization’s productivity when utilized well.