Cut the Crap: 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively in the Workplace Jessica Lunk Small businesses spend a lot of time trying to perfect their communications. After all, marketing is all about communicating your message to potential customers. There are so many different mediums to communicate through, it takes a ton of time and resources to stay on top of it all Putting all this effort into communicating with the customer comes at the expense of effective communication in the workplace. If your team members aren’t getting their message across to each other, or if you aren’t getting your message across to them, you can hardly expect to work together efficiently. It can create a stressful office environment where tempers flare and jobs aren’t getting done. Good communication helps to create a happy and productive workplace. Are You Speaking the Same Language? The 4 Communication Styles Communication is everything in an effective work environment. Productivity, and your sanity, relies on it. There are various styles of communication in the workplace, yet no one in particular is the right one. As a manager, it is important to understand the style of communication that is most effective with each employee to ensure that the message is clear. Here is a simple breakdown of the four most effective communication styles found within work environments. The Supporter This is the most patient style of communicator – a listener. The supporter tends to avoid conflict; however, they make good mediators because of this. To best communicate with a Supporter, provide reassurance, earn trust, and give them time to think about and make their decisions. The Analyzer The Analyzer, is the most organized style of communicator and prefers facts and details. These deep thinkers may come off as pessimistic or frugal, however they thrive when presented with a vast amount of detail. Communicating with the Analyzer is best done via charts, graphs,lists, and providing answers to questions in great detail. Ensure that you are well prepared with the facts when planning to communicate with an Analyzer. The Promoter The outgoing and social Promoter is typically the center of attention. These curious communicators like to talk, so don’t rush them through the conversation. Promoters like to use lots of examples and stories to get the message across. The Controller The fact-driver and efficient Controller thrives on motivation and goal-setting. To best communicate with a Controller, get straight to the point and set clear goals and objectives. Typically, a Controller will take minimal direction and run with it; however, they may often be labeled as bossy. As a manager, you must understand the individual communication styles of you and your employees. It’s important to place trust in your staff and allow them to work in the ways that is most efficient for them. Cut the Crap 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively There are many benefits to learning good communication skills. It helps to tear down the barriers that exist because of cultural and language differences, both in the office and in the global marketplace. Misunderstandings due to poor communication can have disastrous consequences. Clear communication is great for employee morale and open lines of communication between employees and management. Good communication skills can be learned. Here are a few things to keep in mind: Avoid arrogance and ego. If you’re in a position of authority, don’t try to intimidate your employees to what you want. This can cause employee morale to plummet. Meet your fellow workers on equal ground, respect their abilities and position, and don’t speak to them in a sarcastic or condescending tone of voice. Show confidence. Although you don’t want to come across as an arrogant jerk, you do want to communicate an air of confidence, both in the work you’re doing and in the person you’re speaking to. Be clear and concise, look people in the eye, and be specific about what you want. Give feedback. If employees are doing a good job, don’t hesitate to tell them. They appreciate it when you let them know they are doing a good job. If there is a problem, it needs to be addressed, but approach it with diplomacy and tact. The last thing you want to do is destroy their morale. Learn when to use email. Email is a great tool for some things, like when you need to communicate with a lot of people at once. It can also be used reach people who are hard to get ahold of or when you need a record of a communication. It’s not so good when you have a lengthy message with a lot of complicated details. Remember that tone and emotions can be easily misunderstood in an email and it should never be used as a way to avoid a situation that needs to be handled face-to-face. Never say anything in an email you wouldn’t say to someone in person. Learn when not to communicate. Micromanaging is not conducive to effective communication in the workplace. Learn to trust your people, and only step in when necessary. Applying these four skills of communication will benefit the workplace. It will allow good communication to flow between employees, management, and customers.