Communication skills are such an important of a Productive Health Workplace.
But before we launch into that – if you didn’t do our quiz yet – do it now here
It only takes 90 seconds and is a great snapshot of how healthy and productive you are at work.
Whatever your result, our fab and free new guide the “Movement Movement” is likely to have some valuable tips for you too. We have been delighted with the feedback on that so far thank you!
Now, the C word… Communication.
It is one of the key aspects to a positive and enjoyable workplace culture. We hear it all the time, but what does this mean in practice?
Communication is a two-way thing. We know this in theory, but many forget about the importance of the listening part.
The more we focus on listening and genuinely seeking to understand the other, the more we receive that in return, and the better our relationships tend to be. Not always, let’s face it the world is not perfect and sometimes genuine attempts at listening are not returned. But by focusing on listening we are part of a path to solutions and doing our part in building rapport and trust rather than distance and division.
Some key communication skills at work include:
1. Active listening
Listen to seek to understand. Acknowledge what the person has said through both body language and your words. Validate their emotions if these have been expressed. This doesn’t mean you agree with them or are willing to do what they request. It tells them that you were listening and that is a highly valuable gesture that is likely to be well received and help strengthen your relationship and partnership with that person.
2. Be mindful and grounded
Work on not letting your own emotional responses get in the way of a constructive conversation. This doesn’t mean that you should not acknowledge these feelings, in fact I encourage you do so. But don’t make decisions based on these emotional responses.
If the emotions in the background are strong you may have the tendency to withdraw from expressing them, preferring to avoid conflict and keep the peace.
This conflict avoidance is understandable, and it’s VERY common!
But what is the effect of this in the long run?
Sometimes you just need to have a brave conversation and clear the air.
3. Having brave conversations
Having brave conversations at work can take a real weight off your shoulders. Choose the right time and place. Approach from a position of acknowledging the strengths of the person you are speaking with. Reminding them what they are doing well will likely open their mind to the areas where you have concerns.
With a generous and skilful approach, these conversations can help bond you to that person and get things moving again with your work. Practicing with another person first may help you get the wording right. Above all, just don’t be afraid to have these chats when you know they are really needed.
Have a healthy and productive day,