Improving Listening Skills – The First Step In Better Workplace Communication

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How to Present in Business

Every one of us truly believes, that we listen to other people. I’m here to argue this point.

In most cases we don’t listen – we hear. Our ears hear what someone is saying but are we really listening from a business communication perspective?

We may miss tone, inflection, the specific words they use, their values, beliefs, the nuances and what’s under the words. We might also attach judgments to what they are saying or how they are saying it, and don’t listen. Perhaps at times we are even thinking about the upcoming meeting, the report we have to finish, the fight we had this morning with our kids, or any number of other things.

If any of these facts exist we can’t be listening effectively, even if we hear the words. True listening is all about focusing on the conversation, not getting distracted by our own internal dialogue, being present with the other person, paying attention to their unspoken communication and seeing things from their perspective.

There’s no doubt about it: enhancing your listening skills is the first step toward improving interpersonal communication in the workplace.

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Understanding the Process of Interpersonal Communication

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Through the interpersonal communication process, people maintain and adjust this self-image. The paradigm of human communication is dyadic: two people have a conversation. However, humans have always sought means of extending and enhancing face-to-face communication.

New technology as extended the reach of communication as well as altered the way human relate information to each other.

First, media have had a powerful impact on people’s initial perceptions of other interpersonal transactions. Second, they have influenced the manner in which information about other transactions is processed and interpreted. Third, media distracts persons from the gathering the kind of information they need for effective interpersonal communication.

Models of the interpersonal communication process provide the basis for understanding the complexities of organisation communication.

In the Workplace

Performance appraisal is an interpersonal communication process. Even between two people, it is often not done well. Automating the process is a waste of money and time, and HR departments that go that route are doing charitable work for the vendors of the software. Perception is a vital aspect in the interpersonal communication process. How we perceive ourselves and others affects the way we interpret messages and how we handle ourselves in a given situation.

Beliefs, expectations, hopes, and the other thoughts of both parties affect the interpersonal communication process. People often assume they have successfully delivered or understood a message when in reality they have not. Communication involves more than just talking. It also takes deciding what to say and how, listening, “decoding” signals—words and body language—and checking back on the accuracy of interpretation.

Final Thought

The Ultimate objective of an organization can be attained by maintaining an effective interpersonal communication process, which is an essential part of the organizational behavior study.

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How to Improve Business Communication

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Communication skills at the workplace are a prerequisite for all types of professions. Delivering your message in a clear and eloquent manner without prejudice is a sure harbinger of success at the workplace. There are several theories on the communication process that attempt to illustration how interpersonal communication occurs be it on a personal or professional level.

Improving Communication Skills at the Workplace

To improve your communication skills care should be taken when composing the message to be transmitted and when receiving the message delivered.

When transmitting a message the aim is to transmit a clear and unambiguous message. To achieve this aim always keep in mind the following pointers when composing a message:

– What is the purpose of the message?

– Who is going to receive the message?

– How is the message going to be transmitted?

– Is the message clear?

– Always ask for feedback.

Since the communication process is a two-way process the effectiveness of the message also relies on the receiver. When on the receiving end always ensure that you follow these recommended suggestions to ensure that you understand the full meaning of the message:

– Allow yourself to concentrate on the message received

– Do not be afraid to ask questions to ensure your understanding

– Always provide feedback

The problems that arise with communication in the workplace is that many a times not everyone in the organisation is informed of the message being transmitted. This barrier can be overcome if you carefully consider who needs to know the information when transmitting or receiving a message.

Written by Maureen Cutajar

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