Unit 2: Workplace Communication
Employees are regularly expected to interpret information correctly and communicate with their colleagues, customers, and clients in a respectful manner. Effective communication can increase motivation and create a positive work environment. Even so, one of the leading causes of conflict in the workplace is a lack of adequate or clear communication. Miscommunication can arise from a number of sources, including poor listening skills, misinformation, and misinterpreting verbal, nonverbal, and virtual messages. In this unit, we explore ways to avoid communication errors, since they can lead to disastrous results if left unrecognized and unchecked.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.
2.1: Verbal Communication
Have you ever had to clarify something you said that was misunderstood? If we really knew how our words affected our audience, we might never utter a sound! In business communication, our goal should be to offer a clear and concise message. A prepared communicator is organized, clear, concise, and punctual. A responsible communicator is also ethical and treats people equally and respectfully.
2.2: Facial Expressions and Body Language
If your verbal communication conflicts with your nonverbal messages, you may confuse the listener and make yourself more difficult to understand.
2.3: Active Listening
Communication involves sharing and understanding meaning. Inattention to what a speaker or author is saying or writing causes us to miss much of what the other person wants to share. It takes effort to listen and read attentively.
2.4 Using Technology
Small businesses and start-ups create a lot of economic energy in today's business environment. Technology allows business newcomers who are usually short on staff to fulfill multiple roles, such as social media managers, human resource managers, and marketing experts, until they can delegate these responsibilities to future employees. Technology helps us be competitive, while those who avoid high- and low-tech solutions frequently miss out on opportunities.
2.5: Using Email Appropriately
We use email to communicate with our clients, partners, and co-workers across the world. However, there is still room for misunderstanding, especially since there is usually a lag time between when the message is sent, read, and when questions can be answered. To avoid confusion, your writing should always be clear and brief. You should write a clear subject line, make your point, specify the response you want, and use pointers.
2.6: Speaking on the Phone
When we speak on the phone, we rarely consider how our voice influences our message. Managers, coworkers, and customers expect you to show a high level of conversational skill. They have little patience with people who do not have professional phone skills.
2.7: Using Videoconferencing
Today, most businesses use videoconferencing applications like Zoom, GoToMeeting or WebEx to conduct virtual meetings with employees and guests located in remote locations. We need to be mindful of the unique challenges these collaborative spaces bring, so participants feel welcome and are able to contribute effectively to the discussion.
Not surprisingly, successful communication relies on many of the same concepts of etiquette we have already explored in this course. In this environment, however, careful preparation is especially important. As a facilitator, presenter, or attendee, you are responsible for ensuring you can access the conference link, you are familiar with the conferencing controls, and your audio and video connections are working properly.
Unit 2 Assessment