The Best Handful of Tips 6 -Improve your communication
Basic communication skills are simple but are often forgotten at work.
Having run workshops in eight countries including the topic, communication skills and set up a large government information service I now have time to share some of my tips.
Communication must be a two way affair. Questioning and listening are essential before giving instructions or seeking new information.
Here are five simple tips to improve your office communication
1. First establish an active dialog
There must be an active dialogue between management, employees and clients right from the start.
Unless management knows what is going on at all times and unless the employees know what is expected of them, the business is in trouble.
Aim for good internal communications with as few links as possible in the chain between decisions and action.
Instructions should always be given face-to-face and NOT on-line. The verbal instructions should then be put into writing so they can be referred to.
2. Find out what people want to know
It’s what people want to know that’s important, not necessarily what you want to tell them.
Spend time chatting, to establish a good relationship, before finding out peoples wants and needs.
Find out what is worrying them. Be patient and tolerant of their concerns and complaints.
3. Keep asking simple questions
There is no substitute for asking simple questions like ‘What?’, ‘Why?’, ‘When?’, ‘Where?’, ‘How?’, and ‘How much?’
Don’t give up until you get satisfactory answers.
4. Listen carefully
You will please more people by listening to them than by talking to them.
Give them your undivided attention and they will often give you new information.
5. Act on feedback from colleagues, staff and clients
When people are consulted they will support changes more readily. So involve them in discussions and decision-making.
“Choose your words carefully – to express, not to impress.”