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Effective workplace communication skills

Mon,Mar 22,2010 @ 10:42 AM

According to the experts the top 5 major forms of communications are:
(1) Face-to-face
(2) Telephone
(3) Texting
(4) E-mail
(5) Social media

The most EFFECTIVE forms of communication are face-to-face and telephone.  Keep this in mind when you need to speak to fellow employees especially when confronting someone. Bringing up an important issue may be more comfortable to do through email or text, but it can be totally ineffective.

Make sure you discuss important issues through face-to-face methods or at least  over the telephone if needed. In this overly connected world of social media, email, and text messaging, meaning can sometimes be lost.  Written messages such as text or email leave your message open to interpretation.  People could take your message harder than you meant and become offended, or may fail to see the importance and blow it off all together. A real conversation is the only way to avoid the confusion.

Confrontation is never easy, but by facing the situation head on, you can ensure the problem will be addressed properly right away, and getting it taken care of right away means you can get back to work quicker. Using the right communication medium is the first step in developing strong communication skills. 

If confronting someone face-to-face makes you nervous there are a few things you can do to put yourself at ease.  First, confront the other person when you are in a calm mood.  Attacking someone at the height of your frustration will only escalate the situation.  Second, practice what you want to say.  Having a script to go into the conversation with will help put you at ease and ensure you share everything you need to say. Third, if your really uncomfortable or the situation is a pretty big issue, ask a superior for help or even have them sit in on the conversation to help mediate.  A coaching session with your manager can help come up with the best plan of how and when to confront the issue. Being able to confront issues with strong communication skills is imperative to having a strong team, don't let your comfort level or lack of skills create an on-going problem.

We would love to hear stories of communication gone wrong.  Share your stories or opinions below.

Caitlin Robinson

Written by Caitlin Robinson

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