One challenge that I hear repeatedly from every business person and employer I encounter is that “poor communication” is a growing problem in business today. It is no surprise when you consider our extremely diverse workforce, as well as the popular use of technology. Both of these factors have a definite positive aspect, but they also cause a gap in communication in the workplace.
This issue has become so extensive that OI Global Partners – Compass Career Management Solutions has developed and provides an “Effective Communication Workshop”. Let’s focus on three key areas of communication between business leader and the general work population that can be addressed and resolved:
Everyone feels rushed these days, and with time being so precious it is important to be straight forward, concise, and to the point when discussing a situation with an employee or employer. Avoid being vague or “beating around the bush.” Be specific and make your point without mincing words. This does not mean to be disrespectful – just relay your point without a long story. (For example, if you need to receive a report on a project by Friday, say so – not “I need that report soon.”)
Your attitude is another aspect of communicating that certainly impacts the conversation. If the topic is important, your voice should be firm and well enunciated without shouting or looking angry. Also, look at the person in his or her eyes. This relays that you are being honest and forthcoming.
If the situation requires a tough decision, though you are open to options, alternatives, and/or resources for resolution, asking for that person’s perspective or opinion demonstrates that you value their input, which strengthens your mutual respect. (For example, I was once told that I came across as “approachable,” which relayed that I was open to hear others’ comments.)
There are several other specific areas that can improve communication throughout your organization. Still, misunderstandings and misconceptions that are not addressed will surely fester and create more tension and stress among the workforce. This can also lead to gossip, which is another area to avoid.
Keep in mind that the use of technology (texting and emailing) when talking with other employees at the same work site should be discouraged. Body language is another factor that causes hurt feelings and conflicts.
If communication is a problem in your workforce, you are encouraged to turn to experts like OI Global Partners for help.
Robyn Crigger is managing partner, OI Global Partners – Compass Career Management Solutions in Charlotte, NC.