The importance of effective workplace communication

You’re a seasoned, well-regarded professional with a brilliant vision for your organization. You have a detailed action plan and know exactly what it will take to achieve your company’s goals. But if you’re unable to effectively communicate that vision (and the steps required to execute it), it probably won’t come to fruition. Workplace communication is key to a successful business.

Let’s be honest: You can’t do it all by yourself, regardless of the merits of your plan. Knowing how to communicate effectively to those you manage, as well as those above you, can make all the difference.

The pitfalls of poor workplace communication

Before we discuss best practices for communicating with your colleagues and associates, let’s look at the problems poor workplace communication can cause. Negative consequences of failed communication can be divided into the following categories, according to Patrick Alain, author of The Manager’s Phrase Book:

  • Your project needs (or that of your clients) may not be achieved.
  • Those whom you manage may be confused about your expectations as a manager.
  • The failure to achieve your goals could come back to haunt you, your superiors, peers, and staffers.

It’s not just the lack of communication that can cause problems. It’s also important to understand the various types of communication, paying special attention to what works best for different people and situations. Is it really efficient to call a meeting every time you need to communicate a directive to your staff? Sometimes a simple instant message is more effective.

How to communicate effectively: best practices

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to successful workplace communication. You need to consider the specific situation, the style of each individual or team, and other contextual factors. The following general guidelines will help you be a more effective leader through better communication:

  • Speak clearly and get to the point: Be efficient with your language; you don’t want to waste people’s time with flowery language that may dilute your point.
  • Be positive: Even if you have legitimately negative things to say about others in your profession (or even within your organization), it won’t help your cause. Instead, focus on encouragement to get the most out of your colleagues.
  • Organize your thoughts: This may seem obvious, but it’s important to finish each thought before you move on in order to avoid confusion. Also, consider using notes when conducting meetings so you stay on task and keep their attention.
  • Don’t interrupt: People who are cut off may be less inclined to contribute in the future, and they may tune you out.
  • Stick to the facts: Make sure you’re able to back up your ideas and plans with hard facts. Depending on your audience, it may help to summarize your expertise in a given field or to share the research or experience behind your ideas.

Make workplace communication work for you

So you have a smart, actionable plan for your business; but that’s just half the battle. If you don’t figure out how to communicate effectively with your colleagues, your plans probably won’t take flight. Want to learn more about workplace communication and other strategies for managerial success? We can help. Sign up for Monster Hiring Solutions and we’ll deliver information on the latest hiring trends, managerial strategies, recruiting tips, and more.