How to communicate in the workplace? (especially for leaders)

It’s absolutely important to understand how to communicate in the workplace. Sometimes we need to be direct and sometimes we need to twist things a little bit to convey the idea.

It is proved that to achieve career goals, you need to master your communication skills, not only speaking but writing as well.

To master the communication skill you need to know these 10 key points:

  • Persuasion
  • Meetings
  • Boss talk
  • Salami tactic
  • Rhetoric
  • Storytelling
  • Negotiation
  • Feedback
  • Group-thinking
  • The power

Persuasion

While thinking about persuasion skills you need to think “When do people say yes?” or “Can we make them say yes?”

Here are some principles you can use to persuade people:

  1. Reciprocity: If you want something from someone, first you offer them something that matters to them.
  2. Authority: We always tend to believe in people who have authority in their area of work. This authority can be shown with help of a certification, quality of work, and your confidence in what you. . So, try to gain authority in your area of expertise, and people will automatically come to you.
  3. Consistency: The world remembers people who are consistent in their words and action. So instead of following every trend set by others, follow one thing you are good at and people will remember you for that.
  4. Consensus: We all are living creatures and we tend to follow other people's actions either knowingly or unknowingly. So, instead of keep telling people “What to do?” and “How to do?”, show them by you doing it first.
  5. Scarcity: We all fear losing what we have because of the power of emotional attachment we possess. So instead of just offering something, also let them know what they might lose.
  6. Linking: As human beings, we get attached to other people or things that we like, use this link to persuade people as a positive substitute.

Meetings

Everyone who is working in a team, they have to know how it feels like to be in meetings: exhausting, boring, and they never end!

If we see, there are only three types of meetings: Information, Discussion, and Permission and meetings become boring when we fail to keep these types separate.

To keep meetings fun, you strictly need to watch some rule:

  1. 15-minute rule: Any meeting should not exceed 15minutes.
  2. Questioning: Random questioning can make meeting just another waste of time. So, keep the questions in order: comprehension, process, debate.
  3. Stand-up meeting: It is proved that conducting stand-up meetings help to speed up the decision-making process.
  4. Smartphone rule: No smartphone rule works best to get the maximum attention span in the meeting. This rule was even supported in the White House under Barack Obama.

Boss talk- How to talk to your team?

There is no universal answer for the boss talk because it depends on every person, every situation, every company, and every relationship. Although there are some rules which you can follow to better your conversation with your team.

  1. Don’t criticize: Remember, start criticizing only if you are going to help with rebuilding.
  2. Praise: Always learn to praise your employee when they show results, but not too much. Too much praising makes them feel that they have already reached a point where they no longer have to learn new things.
  3. Practice what you preach: Managers always complain about how their employees are not punctual but they fail to notice how they themselves are not punctual. So, instead of telling others without you doing it first will serve no good to you or others.

Salami tactics

Every conversation you make depends on the person's character and how they are going to receive it.

To know a person's character you can use meetings. Ideally, meetings tend to reveal the personal character and you can separate them into the below categories:

  1. Silent: This type says nothing and usually proven right, these people always tend to think they know better.
  2. Opportunist: This type is enthusiastic about almost everything, especially the decision made by the boss.
  3. Obvious: This type usually annoys everyone because they announce the obvious answer as if they just thought of it.
  4. No-sayer: This type seems to bourn to question other people's suggestions, it doesn’t matter if the suggestion is good or bad according to the situation.

Rhetoric

If you are handling a team, it is absolutely important for you to be a good speaker.

Rhetoric presents below tools to become a good speaker:

  1. Repetition of word or phrase: Repeating a word or phrase clears your motto. For example, politicians are the best speaker and they repeat a word or phrase like “I demand justice, I freedom”.
  2. Inversion: Reverse the order of the usual sentence like “I want to see improvement” can be “Improvement is all I want to see”.
  3. Irony: Say one thing when you really mean the opposite but in an understandable manner like “Today I am so happy because we have received only negative feedback from all our clients”.

A good speech is one that makes your listeners change their minds and let them think that it was their own decision.

Storytelling

Whenever you want to communicate something try to do that in form of a story.

Why?

Because stories are the one who increases your attention span and makes the listener want to know more about the topic.

How to tell a story?

Any story must contain the below points to make it interesting:

  1. Abstract: How does it begin?
  2. Orientation: Who/where/when
  3. Action: Explain the problem
  4. Resolution: suggest your idea to solve the problem
  5. Evolution: What will be the result?
  6. Coda: Any side details

Negotiation

There are two types of negotiation, first-hard negotiation where you push another party to accept your term no matter what, and second-soft negotiation where you make the other parties agree on your term while they think it was their decision all along.

Hard negotiation hardly works on anyone of any age, instead, go for soft negotiation as much as possible. Remember below points to make the negotiation better:

  1. Thing, not a person: Do not get distracted by whether you like the person or not.
  2. Similarities, not differences: Try to count similarities instead of pointing out the differences.
  3. Not perfect: Never stuck your target at maximum possibility because it's just unrealistic, instead ask for maximum possibility and present side negotiation that you are looking for. This way they will think that they made a smart decision by choosing a side plan.

Feedback

Feedback is the most sensitive process because it's easy to hurt people with genuine feedback but false feedback is so unhelpful it makes us too complacent.

Now there are people who like to give only negative feedback since it gives them superiority and they feel like they need to crush every bad idea.

But if you are the one who is giving feedback, take a look below to understand the type of feedbacks:

  1. No” — Negative, destructive feedback
  2. No, because …” — Negative, constructive feedback
  3. Yeah, but …” — Positive, destructive feedback
  4. Yeah, and …” — Positive, constructive feedback

Type 4 feedback is the best way to give genuine feedback and ask for specific improvement. Now when I say specific improvement, you need to absolutely specify why you think the specific area is not that good, how it can be improved, and what the will result bring to the plate? You need to answer these questions after “and”.

Group-thinking

Group-thinking, as most people consider as the best way of decision making it can also go wrong when the majority of the people are dominating the better idea of improvement and not allowing other people to speak and hence think.

To improve upon group-thinking, we can take the below actions:

  1. Give high priority to objections and doubts
  2. Collect everyone's opinion
  3. Create a free environment so silent type people can speak
  4. Most important, divide your team into two with random people, this way different people can in contact, and rather than just agreeing to one's opinion they can agree/disagree on each other opinion and have a productive discussion. Now collect each team's decision and ask them to explain it.

The power

We are talking about communication here but talking to show that you hold the power does not work always in reality.

Here are some principles to show your power:

  1. Never argue hesitantly: Never jump into the argument if you have any doubt about the subject. It’s just like shooting an arrow into the dark.
  2. Talk less: Never talk uselessly, talk when required and people will listen to you when you make a valid point. No one likes talking bunny when it comes to serious matters.
  3. Act ignorant: When you act smart others up to their guard and instead act ignorant and hit the spot when others let their guard down.
  4. Give up: Sometimes you meet people who just don’t agree on anything even if you are given a jackpot to them. In this case, it's best to back off because in this case, you are just wasting your energy since the other person has already decided to not agree ever before listening to you. This doe not mean you are giving up, this means you are smart and know where to STOP.

Let me know if this was helpful!

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Technical Writer, Software Developer, Blogger, and Career Development Coach…

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Chanchala Gorale

Chanchala Gorale

Technical Writer, Software Developer, Blogger, and Career Development Coach…

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