1. Effective communication practices
    1. Consider the content and choose the communication channel
    2. Nonverbal communication
    3. Listen intently before responding
    4. Sort out differences calmly and diplomatically
    5. Be respectful
  2. What NOT to do
    1. Avoid participating in gossip
    2. Avoid discussing controversial and personal topics
    3. Avoid providing unnecessary information

Communication is the key to success in every sphere of life, the workspace being no exception.

Not only does it help you to put forth your points and ideas, but effective communication helps in allowing you to be more social and approachable at work. This can help you shine at work and lead to greater opportunities as well.

However, as a fresher, a workplace might feel intimidating leading to nervousness around your colleagues.

Don’t worry, with these effective communication practices, you can gain your ground firmly in your workspace and improve your communication skills.

Let’s begin!

Effective communication practices

Here are a few factors to consider when you are trying to improve your communication skills for effective communication.

Consider the content and choose the communication channel

The first thing is to consider the type of content you are trying to convey.

Is it something that needs approval? Is there something that you believe needs to be discussed? Is it something that you only want to inform?

Once you fix your content, choose your medium accordingly. The most common mediums to consider for effective communication are email, team applications, and face-to-face conversation.

To get approval or send across information, you can choose an email or any official applications that your team uses. However, this is dependent on the level of urgency.

In case the information to convey is urgent, you can send a message on the official message applications used by your organization such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Try to avoid messaging apps like WhatsApp as it is not considered an official mode of communication. However, if your organization permits the use of WhatsApp and similar other messaging apps then you may do so based on the urgency of the matter only.

On the other hand, if you need to discuss a matter, you can drop an email asking for a preferred time of the concerned person and mention what you want to discuss.

Relevant reads: How To Write A Formal Email: Email Etiquette Tips, How To Write A Formal Email? (Email Format and Samples)

Nonverbal communication

To begin with, nonverbal communication is everything unspoken, meaning your body language, your tonality, etc.

Your body language can speak volumes of your mental reactions, so does the tone of your voice.

Take for example, when you sit up straight, with your shoulders relaxed, a smile and eye contact, you will be exuding confidence and seem relaxed. This will make you more approachable and friendly amongst your colleagues.

Confidence is the key to success for effective communication in an office environment.

You can check out Coursera’s course on improving communication skills to help build your confidence.

Listen intently before responding

Did you know that for effective communication, it is important to not just hear but to listen carefully to what is being said? Many times in order to answer first, the tendency to miss out on the crucial points has been seen.

Patience, active listening, and noting down the important factors said have been considered to help improve communication skills.

This is especially important for freshers as active listening will help them to gain maximum practical knowledge which is extremely beneficial in their learning phase.

Sort out differences calmly and diplomatically

Effective communication is extremely important to keep up and promote a positive work environment.

Although technology has brought with it much convenience and ease of communication, it also leads to a lot of miscommunication if not framed right. Also, emails and texts do not convey emotions which may lead to misunderstandings.

So, if you ever notice a sudden coldness from your colleague, try to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation, instead of taking the help of technology.

Make sure to be very calm and have an open mind when you sit down to sort out your differences. Allow them to present their side of the story completely before you present your side of the story.

Do not throw anyone else under the bus to sort the differences, instead, handle it diplomatically by understanding what triggered their behavior and take responsibility.

Be respectful

In a team, it is natural to have differences in opinion on a matter of discussion and to showcase good communication skills, you need to put your point on the table respectfully.

A discussion can take place only when the participants communicate effectively without putting down one another’s point of view. Instead, for effective communication, hear out what the other person is saying and build on it accordingly.

This will help encourage team participation without anyone feeling ridiculed or intimidated leading to a positive work environment.

What NOT to do

Now that we have sorted the effective communication practices to inculcate at a workplace, here are a few things that you absolutely must NOT showcase at work.

Avoid participating in gossip

Nothing good has ever come out of participating in gossip. Not only does it spread negativity amongst colleagues but also tends to create misunderstandings.

So it is best to avoid unnecessary gossip at work. Even if you find yourself caught up in a discussion of the sort, smile, and nod, and refrain from making any comments.

Avoid discussing controversial and personal topics

As normal as it is to try to get to know your colleagues, some topics are best discussed with friends and family, and away from the workplace.

Topics such as politics, relationships, religion, etc. should not be discussed with colleagues (even if you are close friends) during work hours.

It is a work environment after all and you wouldn’t want to offend anyone, even if it is unintentional.

Also, sharing too much personal information might lead others to perceive you as a less credible individual, and you don’t want that!

Avoid providing unnecessary information

Good and effective communication is one that addresses the matter in a short and concise manner.

Providing too much information makes it seem like you are unsure of what is important or have failed to understand the matter to be discussed.

Therefore, it is important to understand the content of the message before sending it to the recipient.

Hopefully, these tips will help in improving your communication skills. You can check out some communication courses on Coursera if you’re still unsure or feel that you want to polish your communication skills to sound professional.

All the Best!

Communication Career Advice