1. Effective communication at work: what is it?
- Open attitude
An open attitude is the beginning and the end of a positive communication culture. Conflicts can only be resolved quickly if colleagues and superiors deal with each other honestly. However, more often than expected, intrigues, negative comments and even mobbing take place. Some people talk behind a colleague’s back or deliberately withhold information in order to make a profit, but this does not make for productive teams, which is reason enough to try to eliminate existing problems as quickly as possible.
An open attitude is also important in the culture of discussion. Constructive discussions can only take place when one party recognizes the opinion of the other as a possible solution. By stubbornly clinging to one point of view, it is inevitable that projects will come to a standstill. If, on the other hand, all parties openly discuss the contributions made, ideas can be fed into each other, thus strengthening both creativity and productivity.
Poor communication at work is not always due to a lack of will or bad intentions, but also to the absence of the necessary skills to communicate. When conversations lack clarity or information is not communicated correctly, misunderstandings occur very easily. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to a clear formulation of what you want to communicate. Whether in an e-mail, in a meeting or during a conversation in the cafeteria: hiding the real message behind empty words is counterproductive. Moreover, particularly complicated topics should be explained in detail so that they do not cause disinterest or incomprehension on the part of the recipient. Repeating information and asking questions are two effective ways to help clarify complex facts.
Both employers and employees should pay attention to the effect of written and spoken words. An inconsiderate tone is quickly misunderstood. That is why a clear expression in these cases helps to avoid conflicts and to work more purposefully.
Kindness, courtesy, and mutual respect, whether among equals or between superiors and employees. There is nothing as effective as a lack of respect in creating a bad working environment. Many people in positions of responsibility tend to use an aggressive leadership style to make their authority known. However, it is much more effective to treat employees with respect. In this way, not only are they more satisfied at work, but they are also willing to be more involved. But the respect must be mutual, i.e., employees must also strive to treat their superiors with consideration.
- Willingness to listen
Communication is not a one-way street: the speaker must also be listened to. The ability to listen to others is as important as the ability to express oneself clearly. Thus, it is considered essential in good communication at work that the other party has the necessary time to make his or her contributions without being interrupted in the middle. It is also necessary to show empathy and could really listen and respond to what has been said. This is not the same as sitting quietly while someone else speaks, without necessarily paying attention. An understanding attitude is therefore a decisive factor, both in professional conversations and in those with an emotional component. When understanding another person is difficult, it can be helpful to ask questions, which in turn also sends positive signals to the interlocutor.
- Admitting mistakes
No one is perfect. Everyone knows it, but very few people like to admit it. It is precisely admitting mistakes openly that provides a good basis for communication. An honest apology has a disarming effect: openly admitting a mistake usually has a positive effect on the other person. Therefore, the idea that admitting to having made a mistake is a sign of weakness must be rejected. Those who do so and face the consequences demonstrate strength of character.