This month Faradays is looking into the Communication skills and Transparency at work.
So, why it is so important to have good communication skills and does being transparent could actually lead to a better, happier and more productive work-life?
3 important reasons for poor communication at work:
1) Lack of social awareness and/or emotional intelligence.
2) Lack of understanding of effective communication techniques.
3) Lack of confidence.
To improve your communication skills just speaking and listening is not enough – you must pay attention to your body language too. While it is good to use hand gestures while speaking you don’t want to look like an orchestra conductor. Face the person you are speaking to and make regular eye contact, make sure you are listening expressing visually what you feeling. If you are a happy smile if you are confused to wrinkle your face. Do not show aggressiveness at any stage as your goal is to be open for the conversation.
Listen, Repeat and Reflect!
1) Firstly you have to really hear the process and respond to what others are saying. Being a good listener means expressing strong interest in your listeners, use appropriate verbal and non-verbal gestures and ask questions to encourage conversation.
2) By paraphrasing, something that was being said in your own words will clarify and stimulate further decision.
3) Before talking try to reflect on what has already been said.
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I saw this day will teach me anything. If I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” Larry King
How to work well in your team?
When you are in a team situation, your contributions, actions, and reactions will matter. The better you handle yourself, the stronger your team will become. Whether you’re a manager leading a team or one of its members, creating a successful team is as much your responsibility as it is everyone else’s.
1) Play to your strength by identifying and share what you do the best with your colleagues.
2) Be honest about your weaknesses by accepting and understating your weaknesses you will feel less threatened and essentially become a better team player.
3) Clear communication is essential for a successful workplace!
4) Don’t be afraid to delegate or share work. Tasks must be delegated appropriately based on strength and weaknesses between the team members.
Ways to improve your communication skills at work:
1) Get your point across – instead of thinking long and hard of what you want to say try to focus on what you want another person to hear.
2) Learn to listen. To be a good communicator you must learn how to listen. Pay close attention to what other person is saying, ask questions and rephrase what the other person is saying to ensure understanding.
3) Do not ever underestimate the power of positive feedback. We are quick to point out to somebody their mistakes and sometimes we forget to acknowledge when our co-workers are doing something right.
4) Be friendly – through a friendly tone, a personal question, and a smile you will encourage your co-worker to engage in an open and honest conversation.
5) Confidence is one of the most important features; it shows that you believe in what you are saying. Avoid making statements sounding like questions and be careful to sound arrogant or aggressive.
6) Respect opinion of others. Using phrases as simple as “I understand where you are coming from” demonstrate that you have been listening to the other person and respect their opinions.
7) Be open-minded – by being able to enter the conversation with an open mind, even if you disagree with the person, you will be able to have the most productive conversation.
8) Respect and make the other person feel appreciated by making eye contact, listening and using a person’s name.
When you do need to give negative feedback follow these steps:
• Get your emotions under control. You don’t want to critique someone else’s actions when you are angry or upset. Take your time to let things cool down or schedule a meeting for the next day.
• Never deliver negative feedback in front of team members. When people are criticised in public, they may feel depreciated or humiliated.
• Focus on the observed behavior not the person. The main purpose of constructive feedback is to eliminate behavior that reduces from high performance and not to offend the person. Never treat anybody like they are the problem.
• Be specific about the problem explaining how this problem makes an effect on the business or other employees.
• Reaffirm your faith in the person. There you can show that you still have faith in the ability of that person.
• Give the person a chance to respond and ask questions. There may be an explanation for the problem.
• Define and agree on a mutually acceptable action plan. Agree on the future performance, clearly identify the specific things that need to be done and on any additional training.
• Establish a time to follow up.
• Monitor their performance as you do with all employees, but don’t obsess.
Transparency at work and why it is important.
1) Transparent workplace features benefits that can lead to happier employees and even increased production. The key to transparent workplaces is openness between employers/ managers and employees.
2) The key to transparency at work is trust and good communication between employees and managers.
3) So, how to be transparent and honest about your job? If your manager gives you feedback regarding your job lacking evidence, be honest about it but also share your opinion in a constructive manner. If this feedback is related to a particular issue ensure that your response is related to this issue rather than a criticism of the manager or other members of staff.
For example, if your boss shares a memo with you before distributing it to staff, point out a specific sentence that might create confusion, rather than saying the memo is ineffective or poorly worded.
4) The benefits of transparency and honesty at work are faster problem solving, better teamwork, healthy working relationships, trust and, ultimately, improved performance.
5) Faradays management team are always happy to hear any feedback from the employees, negative or positive, with the suggestion of effective problem-solving solutions.