Written by: Lindsay Daniels / Professional Communication / January 11th, 2017
How well do you speak at work? We know that communication is really important to all of our professional and career-related goals.
If you think that your communication skills could use a tune-up, read this quick blog to learn our top tips for improved communication in the workplace.
Make Yourself Heard
If you are speaking inaudibly or too softly, this can influence how you are interpreted. It’s important to practice projection. At Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy we like to call this your "confident voice".
Another positive way to make yourself heard is to eliminate “fillers”. Fillers are words like “um”, “uh”, and “like” and they can undermine your overall message. A helpful strategy is to replace these fillers with conscious pauses.
It’s also important to be clear with your message. Clarity can be achieved by keeping your message simple and concise.
In some causes, it may be relevant to develop strategies for reducing anxiety while speaking. Speech-language pathologists are equipped with these types of strategies and can help you to practice this skill.
Tell the Truth
Being a leader means being honest and not shying away from confrontation. When handling a problem with an employee or a client, remember to ask questions and listen well, as this will inform your actions and resolution. Always treat the person with respect as you move swiftly towards positive solutions.
Know Your Audience
There is an important distinction between the way you communicate with colleagues and the way you communicate with clients, patients, or customers. Just as you communicate differently with your best friend than you do your boss, it’s key to know your audience and the communication-etiquette that is associated with each type of relationship.
Additionally, regardless of which category of relationship you’re dealing with (colleague, client, superior), everyone has their own preferred communication style. Some people dislike long-winded conversations, or might prefer not to communicate first thing Monday morning. Keeping these preferences in mind will enhance your interactions.
Non-Verbal Communication Matters
Of course the studies vary, but (in the neighbourhood of) 80% of communication is actually non-verbal.
Suppose you’ve had a personal mishap with a family member on the phone during your lunch hour and you are still frowning and visibly displeased when you return to work. Your colleagues may misinterpret these cues as directed at them and you could seem unapproachable as a result.
Try to be as mindful as possible about your body language, gestures, posture, facial expressions and nonverbal communication in general as these behaviours have a large bearing on the overall impression you're making.
Good ideas do not only come from the top. It’s important to give all voices an equal opportunity to be heard. Feedback is also an excellent way to gain some insight into your own communication style and how you’re being perceived. Encouraging feedback facilitates open lines of communication.
At Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy we are committed to recognizing the nuanced approaches necessary when working with adults.
Our experienced team is committed to supporting you, whether you're preparing for interviews, developing your authoritative voice, or working to become more concise, we can help you to reach your communication goals.