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Effective communication is the key to any relationship, but it is especially key in the workplace. Communication between colleagues is essential to the productivity of any business or organization. For individuals to feel like an asset to the team, they must feel that their ideas and opinions are heard and valued.
Create an Atmosphere of Openness
When speaking face to face, avoid objects that create barriers such as desks or cubicle walls. Try to sit in an open area, and avoid loud places. Find a place to speak your conversation is unlikely to be interrupted. Turn cell phones off and ask your secretary to hold your calls.
Be an Active Listener
Don't dominate the conversation. Allow others to express their point of view and listen attentively. Take notes if you need to in order to make sure that you retain vital pieces of information. When your colleague is done speaking, repeat what you heard to make sure that you have truly understood his concerns.
Actively Engage in the Conversation
People can tell when your mind is somewhere else. Show genuine concern for the matter at hand and give it your full attention. Let your colleague know that you are engaged in the conversation by making eye contact. Don't use empty expressions such as "uh-huh" when the other person is speaking. This will seem as if you are only half listening. If speaking with someone you are meeting for the first time, be sure to repeat her name and use it often during the conversation to personalize your discussion.
- Group of business people working together in the office. image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com