Do More in Less Time with Better Communication

Matt| March 31, 2015| News

Workplaces are often looking to boost productivity and one of the best ways to do that is through communication, communication, communication.

Simply getting your ideas across and understanding others sounds easy enough, but when information is coming at you over the phone, through email, in text messages, on social media, over Skype and in person – effective communication can get quite complex.

Understand your office culture and co-workers

Before you try to “up” your communication game, it’s best to take stock of the preferred channels throughout the office and for each person. If you’ve been at the same job for a while, you’ve probably noticed that there are a certain set of expectations on how to dress, behave and so on. The same, often unsaid, set of expectations also applies to communication. If people talk chat over IM, but discuss business via email, then follow those conventions.

Consider each co-worker’s preferred way of communicating. We all have that family member or those friends who won’t answer their phone, but responds quickly to every text. Some people you work with might have similar preferences, so make sure to consider them.

Familiarize yourself with all the different ways to communicate

In order to communicate with people on an individual basis, you might need to learn or get better at using different channels of communication yourself. That means asking someone if your emails or verbal instructions made sense. If you’re not being sufficiently understood, learn how you can improve your style of communication from a co-worker.

Conversely, be willing to teach someone how to use or get better at a particular form of communication if they ask for your help.

Consider generational differences

Today, almost every workplace is multigenerational. Understanding how different generations view their job will foster better communication.

Generally speaking, the more mature workforce tends to take a utilitarian approach and thinks of their job as separate from their personal interests. These workers are likely to derive satisfaction from simply knowing they are responsible for a job well done.

On the other hand, Gen Xers and Millennials are much more likely to try and align their work with their personal values. Younger workers started their careers a time of disappearing pensions and mass layoffs, making them more suspect of corporate culture.

Be direct

Don’t send multi-page emails or ramble on during work conversations. Don’t send more than three or four text messages in a row without getting a response.

These methods of communication are all ways you can be more direct and co-workers will appreciate your attempt to be succinct. Once again, if you feel you didn’t get your point across, don’t assume and eliminate any doubts.

Finally, make sure you take a realistic approach to communication and don’t take incidents involving miscommunication personally. Try to learn from mistakes so you keep pulling in the same direction as your team.

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