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Communication Must-Haves

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Suzanne

Communication encapsulates every aspect of our lives. Especially when working at an eCommerce company such as Gordian Project. Emails and instant messages fly through cyberspace constantly, and customer phone calls are fielded by customer service all day; the communication never ends! Is this constant communication constantly effective? Absolutely not.  It’s not effective because so much is lost. For example, when instant messaging or live-chatting with someone tone is lost. A customer or co-worker may seem rude or abrupt to you, but is that really how they meant it?  Phone conversations are another good example, because we are able to hide behind the phone. Customer service representatives and customers especially forget that they are speaking to a person. Most of the time how we speak to people on the phone is nothing like how we communicate with people in person. So, how can we make our communication more effective? We can start by practicing a few skills that will not only enhance your communication effectiveness in the workplace but in other aspects of your life as well.

Practice good listening skills – Good communication starts with being a good listener. Try to stay away from listening with your feelings. If the listener can remain unbiased and unemotional in a situation they will be able to take in and effectively process what is being communicated to them.  Then they are equipped to react in a manner that is appropriate to the situation. In a work environment there will inevitably be situations of conflict and critique.  In these situations if the listener remains neutral they will form better responses. Well thought out responses encourages effective communication and creates respect in both parties.

Stay away from Gossip – Trust me. No one wants to find this out the hard way. Gossip doesn’t help anyone. It will only lower company moral and make those who gossip untrustworthy.  Think of gossiping as communication junk food; it’s a moment on the lips, forever on the hips. If you are confronted with a gossiping situation, it’s ok to leave or change the subject.  You have probably been told this your entire life, but there is good reason for it, avoid any sensitive subjects like politics and religion. I would recommend using discretion in these situations, but if you know someone that might be offended by the topics then remember to be sensitive to their feelings.

It’s easy to say that communication is an art, but putting only these two points in practice can be a test in and of itself.  Effective communication is never easy. It is fraught with perils, but the reward is definitely something you can take with you.


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