How to Communicate Better with Coworkers
by Regi Publico
Everybody will have to deal with other people when working. It could be customers, bosses, or the topic of this article, co-workers. It is essential to get your communication skills up to snuff if you want to get far in your career.
A strong bond with your co-workers is a difficult task, but if you accomplish it, you’ll have a much easier and more productive time at work. Remember, knowing how to effectively communicate makes you a better candidate for job openings in the future.
Listen First, Talk Later
One of the struggles in conversing with others is it can feel like talking to a brick wall. Take stock of how you talk with others and see if you make them feel unheard. Let them make their point first and really listen to what they are saying.
Stand in their shoes and think about why they are concerned or what they are suggesting. You don’t necessarily have to agree with them, but understanding goes a long way.
Working on a project together isn’t a debate, it should be a united effort. Don’t walk into a conversation with the intent of “winning”. Instead, compare their suggestions with yours and see if it’s better for your team as a whole.
Resolving things before they reach management saves a lot of time and stress.
Socialize More Often
A great way to know more about your co-workers is simply hanging out with them during your downtime. You don’t have to do it all the time, but a few interactions outside of a work situation is very helpful. It lets you learn about their interests and how they talk with others.
Now you should apply what you learned from those conversations in a work setting. Socializing with co-workers means they’re more likely to be empathetic with you in case a conflict arises too.
Lastly, building a rapport makes working together much easier. While it doesn’t guarantee everything will always be peachy, it does ensure a friendly resolution is possible.
Think Before You Speak
Whether it’s a casual conversation or a serious team meeting, never just say your thoughts out loud. While being honest is important, you need to know how to say things in a way that won’t offend anyone.
Compare the effects of talking about something versus not talking about it. For example, if something is actively interfering with your workflow. It’s always best to take it up with the person themselves first.
After that, if there is no resolution, take it up with HR or the team lead. Never under any circumstance just start rumors.
Alternatively, if you have a personal issue with a person’s choices in life, keep it to yourself. Especially if they do not interfere with work. Respect your co-worker’s private life and they will respect yours.
Cooperation is Key
If you have any problems or questions, never hesitate to reach out to a coworker. This is an easy way to integrate both work and socializing. Doing this communicates to your co-worker that you trust them with your work problems.
Not to mention, two heads are better than one. Having multiple people on a single problem usually leads to a fast resolution. Remember though, this is cooperation, not coercion. Don’t guilt someone into working with you.
Make sure that they’re working with you voluntarily. Additionally, the goal is to find the correct solution, so don’t be too competitive.
Promoting open communication in your organization helps promote a better employee experience.
Stay Updated on Office Happenings
By staying updated, we don’t mean relying on rumors. Just have your eyes and ears open for big news that your co-workers share.
If someone gets a well-deserved raise or promotion, congratulate them. If they have a baby, congratulate them. If a co-worker’s relative recently passed away, be understanding and offer your condolences.
The important aspect of doing this is it communicates to your coworkers that you care about them. A co-worker that cares is a co-worker they will want to work with more often.
Ask Your Co-workers About Themselves
If you haven’t done this yet, then now is the best time to do so. Ask them about their role and history with the company. Doing so offers you an insight into their professional work style.
Not to mention, it’s just interesting to learn more about co-workers past what they did for the weekend or major happenings they shared over email.
Communication is a varied experience. For some people, it comes naturally. For others, they need a bit of help to get the ball rolling. However, if you just keep these tips in mind, you’ll be having conversations with your co-workers in no time. Just remember to listen, be diplomatic, and have a genuine interest in each conversation. You don’t have to talk all the time, you just have to make the conversations you do have count.
Image source for photo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-working-in-front-of-the-computer-3184357/