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The Importance of Effective Communication in the Workplace

By hire-up-staffing in Industry Resources

Lauren Milam

VP of the West Coast

Hire Up Staffing

You may be working each day in a busy office or doing so remotely. You may be part of a large department or a member of a small team. However, no matter your professional environment, the way in which you communicate with others directly impacts, well, everything.

Effective and consistent communication is an essential part of the most productive work environments. Leaders with effective communication skills benefit in many ways. They can clearly express expectations, and their teams are more likely to feel engaged, happy, and productive. The best performing and most efficient teams have business leaders who make communication a high priority. They lead by example and expect the members of their team to prioritize communication with each other, as well.

There are many forms of communication. When sharing, receiving and collaborating, common ways of communication include:

  • Verbal communication, either directly or indirectly. Direct verbal communication is clear and to the point, whereas indirect verbal communication relies upon an implication of meaning, which can lead to misunderstanding.
  • Written communication, such as emails or memos. Written communication these days can also include an instant message or text. Memos are often used for more formal correspondence.
  • Active listening is when someone else is speaking. This goes beyond simply not speaking while another is talking. To be an active listener, you focus completely on the other person. You are waiting to ask questions or interject your own ideas until you have had time to truly process what the other is saying. If you are finding yourself speaking immediately after another person has stopped talking, chances are you were not truly actively listening.
  • Nonverbal, such as using body language, can be used in communication. An active listener might nod their head in agreement or show understanding. The listener might tilt their head if they are unsure about something that was shared with them. Nonverbal communication can also clearly communicate that you are not interested in what the other person is saying. These cues may look like multi-tasking, a preoccupation with a cell phone, not making eye contact, or crossed arms.

There are endless benefits to effectively communicating in the workplace! Here are just a few…

  • For leaders: Minimizing conflict, either between leaders/team or between team members
  • For leaders: Engaging with your team in a genuine way builds trust
  • For all: Increasing client/customer rapport/satisfaction
  • For all: Increasing productivity
  • For all: Creating a stronger culture
  • For all: Boosting employee morale
  • For all: Strengthening team trust and bonds

Want to improve communication in your workplace? Try these tips and tricks:

  • Be transparent and consistent! Share what you know and start a dialogue with your team to get their ideas for current challenges, pain points, and future company projects.
  • Actively listen to your leaders, peers, and employees! Listening…truly listening is one of the biggest ways to show respect. Being able to act on things shared with you and making changes to improve issues brought to you will further reinforce trust.
  • Give positive feedback and constructive criticism at the right time and in the right setting.
  • Speak or meet face-to-face as much as possible. This keeps the communication flowing and reinforces the connection.
  • Have an open-door policy, and really mean it. Show an active interest in the concerns and ideas of your team and take swift action in ways that support your team as often as you can. Celebrate the heck out of the changes that come from members of your team sharing concerns, ideas, and feedback.
  • Create a sense of safety, both physically and psychologically.
  • Get to know your employees individually and find out how they best receive and understand information, and work to communicate in more than just one way. Some people will want to read your message again after the meeting, while others will take notes during the meeting and refer to them as needed. Be open and flexible with how you get information to your team.
  • Be open to change and show that change is positive.
  • Check-in often with your team after formal and informal communication has been shared. Ask for feedback; what would they like to see more of, less of, instead of…and adjust your next communication in ways that meet their shared needs.

Do you consider the way in which you speak with others? Do you know what type of effect your communication style has on those around you?

In an article for, Understanding the Effect You Have on Others, organizational and clinical psychologist George Kohlreiser wrote, “There is something called ‘the person effect’ which is the unique impact, positive or negative, a person has in coming across and connecting with others.” He outlines four key reasons why our person effect is one of our most important leadership tools. The Person Effect is key to:

  1. Connecting with Others Effectively: He identified that the person effect is subtle. “Signals and triggers come through words, gestures, and tone of voice.”
  2. Using Our Language: Kohlreiser explained that when speaking, our blood pressure rises; when we listen, it automatically falls. “Talking too much, not listening, and misusing language can affect our heart rate and blood pressure negatively.” He points out that healthy dialogue offers strong benefits for our well-being and improves our ability to communicate and connect with others.
  3. Impacting the Mind’s Eye: “This defines the way in which we see the world,” Kohlreiser explained. Through our mindset, perception, and emotion, our mind’s eye directly impacts the mind’s eye of another. “If our person effect is threatening, dismissive, or unresponsive, others around us will be more focused on the negative and can be triggered into defensive or non-trusting behavior. The reverse is also true. If the leader’s personal effect is positive, individuals will feel empowered, inspired, and innovative.”
  4. Creating a Sense of Trust: Kohlreiser wrote,“The person effect can inspire, create an attitude of engagement, or produce a feeling of discouragement and disengagement.” He explained that our own attitude can be revealed in our personal effects.

Your ability to communicate well with those around you creates trust and a safe space for others to share and feel heard. Your own attitude and perspective on the world have a direct impact on how others perceive you and how they are likely to respond to you.

Employees who feel understood and heard by their management are more likely to feel comfortable openly communicating, thus being productive members of the team.

Does your organization have the right management in place to communicate effectively with your team and customers? Do you need some support with coaching up or hiring top talent that comes with this skill set? We can help!

Contact us and allow us to help set you and your team up for success today!

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Understanding the effect you have on others – I by IMD

Lauren Milam, VP of the West Coast

As the Vice President of the West Coast operations, Lauren focuses on the development of each Hire Up team member and office to ensure they have the tools and ability to meet the needs of all the clients and candidates. Lauren’s vast experience in the staffing industry and her passion for people, results, and success is what drives her daily. This experience includes leadership, management, employee development, sales, marketing, recruitment, client retention, and candidate retention.  Her goal is to ensure every client and candidate receives excellent service through every aspect of the process. Lauren would love to speak with you so she can help your business reach new heights.