How important is communication? The dictionary defines communication as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior”, “a verbal or written message”, and “a technique for expressing ideas effectively”.
Communication is an essential skill, not only in your personal and community relationships but also in your workplace. Do you stop and truly listen to those around you? If you remain quiet and listen to what your colleagues and work friends talk about, it may surprise you that communication, or lack of it, is often referred to.
How can communication in the workplace improve? If you are an employer, director, manager, supervisor, or team leader, make time in your diary to ensure you meet with your staff/team. Don’t talk down to them, ask them questions about how they view the company/business/organization, ask them how they view communication between the different areas of the business. You may choose to do this individually, in small teams, or as a whole group. Note, however, that some people will not engage if they feel threatened. If people in your organization are not engaging in the conversation, it may take some time to build a relationship where they feel they can speak without fear of losing their job.
We do not know what all our team members are going through outside of the workplace, sometimes managers and supervisors are unaware of what’s happening in the workplace. You need to be listening, aware, and taking note of your team and how they interact with you and each other.
The skill of
communication doesn’t just apply to the workplace. It applies to all areas of our life – family,
friends, marriage, relationships, social interactions. The ability to communicate well, not just
hear noise, but listen with intention, and engage in meaningful conversation assists
you in understanding your partner, children, and colleagues much better.
How do we communicate effectively? Listen – don’t just hear what you want to hear, don’t just hear the ‘noise’ people make; really listen to what is being said. Lead by example – if you want to improve communication, then show how; read about how to improve and practice by action. Learn – accept criticism and correction.