3 Habits that will help you Communicate Better with Colleagues

Apart from actually doing the work you’re paid to do, communication is one of the most conducted activities at work. Screwing up communication is dangerous because like roads are essential to making car transportation work, communication is essential to getting any work done. Of course, we all communicate relatively well, but we can always be better. Learning great new habits will make the process a lot easier and fruitful. Here are five tips that will help you communicate better with your colleagues at work.

Take Time out to listen. It’s very easy to fall into the habit of believing you know where someone speaking to you is going with something they are saying. The temptation is to zone out and already start planning our response to the communication effort even when it’s still ongoing. The best policy is to give each speaker your undivided attention and avoid being presumptuous. Don’t assume you know what they mean and their angle. Carefully listen to them and what they have to say. This way — taking out time to listen without interrupting — you can play an active role in making the communication effortless stressful. If you’re able to cut down the number of “What I meant was” type of phrases from your conversations then you are on your way to more constructive and efficient communication.

Keep your criticism constructive. This is a very important tip that will always help you communicate better with your peers, bosses and underlings. Make sure that at the point when you’re dishing out criticism you aren’t criticizing them or their work. Work on trying to critique their work instead. Avoid adding unhelpful feedback even if you feel compelled to. Avoiding unhelpful feedback can be very difficult to remove from our conversing techniques but it’s not only doable but important. Telling a colleague for example, that the proposal that they wrote was ‘unreadable’ isn’t as helpful as telling them that their proposal didn’t help ‘pass across the message’. The first way makes them feel bad and most likely sets them up to be unreceptive to whatever you have to say next. This is bad for communication.

Rephrase what you’ve been told. Because understanding what the other person has told you is vital for proceeding with your given task or work in a productive manner, making sure that proper communication has occurred from your own end as the listener is imperative. An easy way to do this is to listen to what has been said and then rephrase it back to your colleague or boss who has spoken to you. Apart from helping you clarify what has been said, which can save you time if miscommunication has happened, it helps you and the other person be assured that you understand what has been said. This tactic is used by some top consulting firms when listening to their clients so it certainly works!

Great communication will be achievable if these three habits are adopted by you today. These habits will make talking with you at work more enjoyable because your colleagues and bosses can see that you’re putting in the effort to listen to them, communicate carefully and understand everything they are trying to say.