How you express yourself at work is a fascinating and complex area. Let us look at the various scenarios and see where you fit in. Are you quiet and withdrawn? Perhaps you talk too much and rarely match actions to words? The secret is to find the right balance and be consistent. This is easily the best and most effective way of expressing what you want at work.
When I was a manager, I hated meetings. Especially those where I had to represent my section. Being naturally shy, it took me ages to overcome my unease when twenty four eyes would swivel in my direction as I started to speak. How I envied the poised, cool colleagues who would speak concisely and intelligently. How I hated the loudmouths who were simply attention grabbers and ass lickers. Luckily, I conquered my inhibitions but it did not happen overnight.
If you decide to keep your head down and not voice your worries, wants, ideas and plans, there is a risk that you will never be noticed! Your work, talents and skills may lie hidden like un-mined gold. That is the great risk you are taking. If you think that by not rocking the boat your manager will appreciate it, you may be wrong. It is not easy though to communicate what you want at work.
If you neglect this area, you are missing out on establishing your own personal brand in the department. In addition, you risk being considered as lazy, uncooperative, sulky, and uncommunicative. Of course, you are not like that at all. Your colleagues and your line manager are getting the wrong vibes and that could well stand in your way when you might want promotion. You will end up being frustrated and unmotivated.
Maybe you fall into that category where you can express lots of ideas, opinions and project ideas fluently and with great ease. If you cannot match that flood of verbal noise with actions and completed tasks, then you risk being considered a loose cannon. Not producing the goods could be a major obstacle when looking for promotion. Your verbal output needs to be matched with action and deadlines that are met.
“Never miss a good chance to shut up”. – Will Rogers
How prepared are you to listen to others as they state their ideas and projects? The art of being a good listener means that co- workers feel valued, their productivity increases and they are more liable to stay in the company. This is especially important when you are in a managerial or team leader role.
How do you know what others are feeling or what their perspectives are on a major issue affecting the company, if you are not listening to them? Being a good listener is the gold standard of effective workplace communication.
As we have seen, the ideal combination is to be able to give voice to your wants and needs in the workplace while at the same time being a good listener. Getting the balance right may not be easy but here are 10 guidelines to help you be an effective communicator which is the key to promotion.
Follow these suggestions to improve your communication skills at work. You will be happier, more productive and positive. You will also be a much more likeable colleague or boss.
How have you managed to voice what you want at work? Let us know in the comments below
Featured photo credit: Manager for a day / FTTUB Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria via flickr.com
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