Communicate Effectively At Work

Interview after interview and round after round, and you finally get selected for the job! Well, congratulations on landing the job you wanted. But, this was only the beginning of a series of steps that make up the corporate ladder.

Either you had the opportunity to work for a few days in the company or you have been settled in the company for quite some time then you must have noticed that almost all the employees contribute their best to the work but only a few are fortunate enough to climb the corporate ladder.

This observation crops up a question in the mind that what is the thing which separates the achievers from failures in the workplace. If you haven’t recognized it till now then let me tell you that the secret ingredient to achiever’s success is none other than ‘strong communication’.

An employee who is able to communicate effectively at work definitely gets a higher priority than others and it is therefore important not to neglect its importance at a corporate level.


Importance of communication

Communication is the projection of one’s thoughts, ideas, and feelings onto the world. It is that aspect, which may have very well played the role in human evolution and led to the foundation of human civilization.

To get clarity regarding its importance in the workplace let’s take an example:

A project has been assigned to your organization by your most valuable client. You give the task of completing the project to the employee named Suzie. Here is the conversation that takes place between you and Suzie:

You (Boss): Hi Suzie, this is a very important project which I am assigning you. Please complete it nicely and submit the file on my desk on Monday.

Suzie: Sure sir, I will complete the work and give it to you on Monday.

Now when Monday comes, you know that the deadline for the project is Monday morning and call out for Suzie to ask for the file. Now, Suzie tells you that she hasn’t completed the project since she was busy with some other work. She thought that she will submit it by 4 pm today since you didn’t specify that the deadline was Monday morning.

In this scenario, you leaving out this little detail in the communication may put you at risk of losing your most important client, causing a major loss to the business.

Since, the communication gap can highly affect the productivity, Effective communication strategy is the key for any organization these days.


Right communication for the right results

It is important in an office setting to be perceived as a hardworking and smart person. Being in the good books of relevant people at work can open several doors for you. So, how would you communicate effectively at work?


Well, it’s not that hard! You just have to pay attention to some small details.

To start with, you should know that communication doesn’t just consist of the verbal mode. Communication involves verbal communication, written communication, and body language.

In a little detail…


Verbal communication

Verbal communication is the key aspect for an effective communication at work.

The most important point to be followed in case of verbal communication is to be direct and specific. Thousands of mistakes every day occurs as a result of vagueness. We may think that what we are saying makes sense but it may be totally misunderstood by the receiving person.

To avoid such cases, it is necessary to stick to the subject and not getting diverted to other topics, Give as many details as required to make the other person understand and as mentioned before always be direct and specific.

Never assume that what you said has been clearly comprehended by the other person. Always ask for confirmation, to see if the point has been rightly conveyed. In order to communicate effectively at work, it is important to be a good listener and notice every element that the opposite speaker is trying to convey.


Written communication

You must have observed that written communication constitutes the major portion of interactions in the workplace. There is nowadays a variety of mode of written communication ranging from emails to instant messaging apps.

It is already quite hard to keep up with everything, let alone decoding the tone of every digital message received. According to a report, in all the misinterpretation that had occurred almost 44% of them were because of misinterpreted emails and 27% due to misinterpreted voice recordings.


Certain rules that must be followed when drafting a work email to appear professional

  • Write a clear subject that will catch the recipient’s attention
  • Always include a professional greeting
  • Keep it short, simple and comprehensible
  • See to it that all the relevant information are mentioned
  • Give professional closing at the end
  • Conclude the email by mentioning your contact details
  • Revise the mail before sending to see that you have included all the points and correct all the mistakes.
  • Always ask for an acknowledgment from the recipient when the mail is received.


Body language

Something which is often ignored and never given much attention to is the ‘body language’. You might not read into your body posture much but the truth is, other people, do. Subtle signs of facial expression and body posture do give away our real emotions which in an office setting are not always desirable.

Masking negative emotions and projecting a strong, confident personality should always be your aim in the office.

Some points to keep in mind, while at work

  • Do not slouch. This point is well known for an interview but often overlooked after getting the work. A good posture i.e. standing tall, sitting straight and still legs are some of the things one should try to adopt.
  • Keep a smiling face. A smiling face radiates positivity along with confidence. Moreover, research suggests that people who maintain a smiling face seem more friendly and approachable to others.
  • Maintain eye contact. For some, looking into someone’s eyes for a few moments may create an overwhelming feeling in them, but try to reduce this. Looking into the eyes of the speaker conveys your interest in what he/she is speaking and your confidence to carry forward the conversation.
  • Stop the nervous touch. Fidgeting, rubbing the hands, touching one’s hair and jewelry are all signs that tell that you are nervous. Try to calm yourself down and maintain stillness. Stillness in the body gives off the impression of power in a person.

Try to adopt the points mentioned here and see how you make your presence felt at work. Nobody is born with good communication skills. Always remember John Powell’s words: “Communication works for those who work at it.”


Final Thoughts

Effective communication is key to every aspect of your life. But when it comes to the corporate environment, it is very very important to be able to communicate effectively at work. There is no right or wrong method to talk to your co-employee but there are certain rules & regulations that make a communication more interesting and productive.


So, it is therefore important to analyze the condition, select your words wisely and deliver it with confidence. That makes a communication effective, positive and more productive compared to a normal formal communication.


Let me know your thoughts about effective communication at work in the comment below.

Credit: Sujata Deb

How To Communicate Effectively At Work

Ways To Communicate Effectively

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