In its simplest form, communication is a system for sending and receiving messages. And when we do any of that within the workplace, as we do every day, we have “workplace communication”. How do we make the best use of it?
To understand what workplace communication is, one needs to first understand what communication itself is. Communication is a giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc., to give information and messages.
Communication is a process we use to have and keep a meaningful relationship. It is a system for sending and receiving messages as by telephone, telegraph, radio, etc… It is a system of routing for moving things from one place to another. It is the art of expressing ideas, especially in speech and writing. It is the science of transmitting information in symbol. It is all of these things and more.
Like all other basic communication, it needs to be developed, practiced and improved on a continuing basis. In the workplace, because we spend a large part of our daily lives at work, we first need the ability to communicate with others.
Within workplace communication we need to manage ourselves, our co-workers, our bosses, our suppliers and customers. We need to establish, cultivate and nurture business and personal relationships effectively and successfully.
How do we do that? For many, it does not come naturally. We get irritated by things and by people around us. We get frustrated if we cannot express ourselves properly. Many folks find it very hard to have any kind of relationship, let alone one at work. We often hear of conflicts, sometimes ending with tragic results.
One thing we all have in common: we all have to work at workplace communication. Some of us come into the workplace more equipped than others, some less. We decide what we need and initiate ourselves in the learning process. We may have to learn to communicate with diplomacy for example.
We may need to learn to become more persuasive communicators. We may need to learn to become better leaders in our own lives and in our own departments. We may need to learn to reduce stress in difficult situations, or in our overloaded responsibilities.
Whether we deal with our co-workers or our employees, we can improve workplace communication by learning to give and get constructive feedback. But first, we need to learn to be assertive. We need to be able to make contact with others and open up a conversation. We need to be interesting by reading interesting things that we can talk about, relating to our business. We need to smile more.
Workplace communication should flow from one person to another, from one department to another, from top management to bottom management.
Workplace communication takes many forms. It is verbal, nonverbal, written. It uses many means such as telephone, letters, memos, computers, Internet. Email has become the most common forms of workplace communication.
All of the above have one thing in common. It can all be learned. Whatever we are missing in workplace communication we can learn. We only need to be aware of it, be mindful of it and take the initiative to learn it and make the best use of it to our successful advantage. /dmh