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Your workplace may consist of people you will engage with every day. Some composed of three to five people and some companies you’ll work with will have a lot of employees. You all have different personalities. So how can you streamline a relationship with the people in your workplace? Through the right communication.

Communication skills, whether spoken or written, is important in the workplace. Aside from getting hired and landing promotions, effective communication with your superiors and colleagues is imperative. Good communication skills will bring you a healthy work environment. It will avoid misunderstandings and work issues.

Especially now that we are in a digital age, we must know how to relay and receive messages not just in person but also digitally.

So how can you utilize the right communication skills to build relationships at work?

1. Respect

First of all, you need to know to respect all the people in your workplace.  As R.G Risch said,  “respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it,  you’ve got to give it.”

Pour out respect to your colleagues. Treat them with courtesy and kindness. Before pushing what you have to say, let them finish what they say first. Never butt in when they are still expressing their point. When in a meeting or when someone is talking to you, stop what you are doing and listen. Stop gluing your eyes over your phone.

No matter what race, religion, position, color, gender, or age, treat all people with respect. We all have our differences, and we don’t need to exclude ourselves and be rude just because we don’t have the same preference.

Do not talk to your clients the same way as you talk to your friends in the office. Match the tone of your voice and your gestures to whoever you are talking to, to show respect.

Also, respect people’s space and privacy.  Not because you start to be close with your workmate, you are allowed to go into her things without her consent or barge into her desk without warning.

2. Active Listening

When someone is talking to you, listen actively. Do not give in to the racing thoughts in your mind. Never be distracted by what’s happening around you. Focus on the person communicating with you. Make eye contact and stop looking around.  Smile, nod, or agree with a verbal yes to tell the person you are still with them.

Active listening requires a high level of awareness. You will never understand an instruction given to you if you are not paying attention. You will never remember any points discussed in the meeting if your mind travels outside the four walls of the meeting room. It will only result in communication failure when the other person is not actively listening. Workplace miscommunication drawbacks not only will include misleading instructions but also will give everyone unwanted stress and will drop productivity.

3. Concise and Clarity

Do not mumble when you are speaking and avoid filler words because it makes you look not confident. Think about what you are going to say than filling your words with you know, like, and Uhm.

Also, you should be concise. Be clear about your thoughts. Stop giving too many details that will make your sentence complex to show them that you know what you are saying. Pointing out directly what you are trying to say will help others to understand you easily.

Even in written forms, like sending an email, you need to be clear and concise. Do not leave your recipients wondering through your long messages what do you want. People don’t have time to sort out your lengthy emails so tell people in a short and precise email what is your goal.

Poor communication skills may affect your career. It will decline your productivity at work that can result in losing your clients.

4. Receptive to Feedback

Receiving feedback will help you grow and improve. Though negative feedback can hurt you, you need to remind yourself not to take it personally or get angry with your colleague who gives you feedback.

Change how you see negative feedback. Turn it into an opportunity or a step for improvement. People provide you with feedback, not for their good but yours. If they don’t root for your success, they would never invest time to check you out.

You will grow personally and professionally by being open to feedback. All the comments you will receive will refine you and will further boost your productivity.

5. Friendliness

A simple smile will encourage open interaction with your colleagues. They will feel more comfortable around you, and you will eventually start to establish rapport with them. Though it takes time for all of you to build a strong bond, it is better to offer a warm smile starting from your first day. Say thank you, offer a smile, or a nod whenever someone lends you a hand even for a small thing like holding the door.

Ask questions, or offer help to your colleagues. From a small smile to small talk, you can get a friend in your workplace.

According to a Gallup survey, those who have a best friend at work leads to better performance. These people possess a deep sense of affiliation with their colleagues resulting in positive actions that benefit the business.

6. Responsiveness

If an email is needing a reply, do not let it sit in your inbox and act like you never saw it. Do not wait for hours to return a phone call. Your colleagues will see you as someone more efficient when you are responsive. As soon as you received a mail or a phone call, address it immediately.

Also, when you know you have a pending task, do not procrastinate or wait for its upcoming deadline. If you can do it early, do it right away so you will not get a stack of projects waiting to be done.

A slow or delayed response, on the other hand, will make you look disorganized and incompetent. Try keeping track of work by having a to-do list or a project management software for productivity.

7. Accuracy

Errors can be a sign of carelessness and laziness. Checking for accurate documents is essentially crucial communication skill for writing.  Spare some time to double-check your content for typographical errors, spelling errors, and grammatical errors. If you turn inaccuracy as a habit, chances are your colleagues will stop trusting you for producing an accurate job.

Stop multitasking and give full attention to what you are doing. Eliminate distractions so you can focus and won’t miss an error.

Ask questions when you are in doubt. Do not be afraid to approach your supervisor if you are not sure about your task. Not only can you save time but also you can present an accurate work.

Always review your work before handing it or publishing it. After how many times of checking, you can ask a favor from a coworker to proofread your document.

8. Empathy

Understanding people’s emotions and choosing a proper response is an essential communication skill. Having empathy will develop your relationship with your colleagues, your clients, and your customers.

To incorporate empathy at work, understand your colleague’s feelings when you communicate with them. Think of yourself being the one in their shoes and ask yourself what will you feel if that happens to you. If your coworker expresses their frustration, you can help them to feel better by listening, acknowledging their emotions, and telling them positive words.

9. Confidence

You have to work your confidence, not only at work but in everything you do. If you think you are not born with confidence, think again. It only needs a little push and a big motivation. Do not be discouraged and always believe in yourself that you can do great.

In the workplace, there are situations that we needed to present ourselves with confidence, whether it’s a presentation or talking to a client. I know it makes your knees wobbly and your palms sweaty. The best thing you can do when you feel the world is spinning is to think about why you are doing this, what are your goals and what are your sacrifices to get to where you are.

There are ways for you to gear up being confident. Prepare ahead of time so you know what you are talking about, make eye contact with the person you are talking to, straighten your shoulders, and don’t forget to breathe before anything else.

Your colleagues will surely be encouraged by your confidence, and they will also strive to be confident as you. Confidently communicating will bring improvement both in your career and personal life.

10. Positivity

Try to stay positive no matter how stressed you are because it will be one of the ways to strengthen your relationships with your colleagues. No one wants to be around someone negative all the time. Your workplace is already a stressful place, so being a positive person in that kind of environment will enhance your relationship with your workmates.

Also, use positive language at work. Instead of saying you can’t, why don’t you say that you will find a way to be with them. Instead of disagreeing directly, why not offer an alternative.

Written By
Merryl Dusaran contributed articles relating to business, health, and personal development. In her free time, she’s either contemplating what to write next or has her nose stuck in a thick novel. She’s at Fair Trade Outsourcing, writing agent journeys about the company’s impact sourcing.

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