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TIPS: How to communicate better at work

Last updated on: July 7, 2011 17:59 IST

TIPS: How to communicate better at work

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Amit Bansal

"Communication is a skill that you learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you are willing to work at it, it can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life."-Brian Tracy

Workplace communication is effective when we say and express our thoughts appropriately. In other words, good communication is determined not only by how well we say things but also by how well we have been understood. So, appropriate communication will help you achieve success in your profession.

However, these skills cannot be acquired in a day and needs a lot of practice. It is a learned skill and can be learned and used at any age! Here we shall explore the concepts pertinent to effective communication and the necessary skills required to communicate effectively at work.

Prerequisite skills to communicate

There are mainly three types of communication skills and the fundamental of these is emotional skills. These three types of communication skills are

Expressing skills are required to convey message to others through words, facial expressions and body language.

Listening skills are used to obtain messages or information from others. These help to clearly understand what a person feels and thinks about you or understand the other person closely.

Skills for managing the overall process of communication help to recognise the required information and develop a strong hold on the existing rules of communication and interaction.

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Amit Bansal is a Career Counselor and trainer who heads PurpleLeap (http://www.purpleleap.com/), an organisation that works with colleges to make students employment-ready. He is an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur after his engineering at PEC, Chandigarh. He has 10 years of work experience in companies like Asian Paints, Riverrun and Talisma.


Image: Develop listening and expressing skills
Photographs: Rediff archives
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Express your thoughts clearly

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Sameer and Rohan have been asked to design a training skill matrix. Let's analyse the conversation happening between them, given below.


Rohan: For the matrix, shall we freeze the main points?

Sameer: Ya, it's training effectiveness only.


Rohan: Yes.

Sameer: So what is there to discuss now, we just need to measure it.


Rohan: Definitely Sameer, we need to measure the training effectiveness but let's break it down to components and sub components so that there is objectivity.

Sameer: Ok! So for content one of the sub component is, "content was good".


Rohan: So shall I write it as content of the training was clearly designed?

Sameer: Why to write so much, it means the same thing, No


Rohan: Yes, but I think in this way we will be able to define better what content we are talking about and whether it was logically organised or not.

Sameer: Ya, it actually makes sense to the person who is not involved in preparing it. So for the delivery part let's say that one of the component is 'engaging the learner' and for which the sub component will be- 'could sustain listener's attention for more than 15 minutes'.


We can infer here that Rohan has made appropriate use of the prerequisite skills for communication. Rohan

  • was clear in expressing his thoughts.
  • listened to Sameer with full concentration and understood Sameer's point of view before he spoke.
  • was in control of his emotions and therefore could manage the overall process of communication.

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Image: Express your thoughts clearly

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Master your body language, synchronise gestures

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To sum it up, in order to communicate effectively it is important to make use of appropriate words and grammar, listen to the other person, be in control of your emotions and be open to other possibilities. You also need to Master your body language and synchronise your gestures with your speech; this will help you to communicate effectively. During a conversation, your tone, your volume, facial expressions, hand gestures and other body movements will make the most impact on the other person, even more than your words.

These skills, when practiced. Will enable you to present your thoughts in an organized fashion and help you to create an impact at the workplace. So, use the ingredients appropriately and communicate effectively to create an impact.

Quick Check Have I

Done these

Avoided these

listened carefully and patiently

the use of jargons

identified the speaker's main idea and important details

making assumptions

used appropriate language

physical distractions

been open minded

interruptions

had an attitude of acceptance

thinking what to say next

asked relevant questions

hearing only what you want to hear

framed clear and concise sentences

being judgmental

All the Best!!

The author is a career counselor and trainer and heads PurpleLeap, an organisation that works with colleges to make students employment-ready.


Image: Master your body language, synchronise gestures

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