Workplace Communication Skills: How Are Yours?

Now in the job market one of the requirements are workplace communication skills. Employers want employees with workplace communication skills as part of their training. Today’s workplace communication skills include oral, written and technology abilities.

In the workplace poor communication is responsible for the majority of errors, confusion or problems at the workplace. This means your workplace communication skills must include speaking clearly, making the intent known and with assertiveness. When one uses the assertive style of communication one is able to communicate directly the can state what they want and how they want it honestly and clearly. The needs of the person communicating are done with a specific intent in mind that they convey to the listener with no confusion. It is done respectfully but forthrightly. Many times assertive workplace communication skills are confused with aggressiveness. When one uses aggression the tactics utilized tend to be abusive, demeaning, pushy, manipulative and at times disrespectful. An example of assertive vs. aggressive behavior is if some one jumps in front of you while standing in line. The aggressive person would say if you don’t get back I am going to punch your lights out. The assertive person would say excuse me I was here first.

Workplace Communication Skills: How Are Yours?Another issue with workplace communication skills is being clear. A lot of times people don’t clearly communicate what it is that they need or want done. The communicator has to be very specific about what they are transmitting. This way the receiver understands fully what is expected of them and how to respond based on that knowledge.

Another issue in relation to workplace communication skills is women versus men in communicating. Women and men do not communicate the same way. In terms of a broad overview; here are how men and women differ in relation to how and what they communicate. When men communicate it is to report or to give information. When women communicate it is to gain information or to establish a relationship. Men will communicate about things, while women will communicate about people. A case in point men will say “ the report was lousy, a woman would say “ She cannot write”. Men tend to focus on facts, reasons or logic. Women focus on feelings, senses and meanings.

Men by nature are competitive and women are more harmonious. Men are conditioned to be the ones to think and women are conditioned to be intuitive. So based on those differences here are some workplace communication skills for women. When you are upset do not communicate with the person who is upsetting you. Tell them you need a minute and go calm down. Take a breath before answering the person. If you have to team up with this person get to the point with the information. It is a fact that many men don’t like to many details. Focus on facts not how you feel, and stay away from personal talk (gossip). Listen with your logic factor not your emotional factor. Do not engage in a power struggle.

If it is a male that is your subordinate at the workplace be forward when communicating information. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be extra clear if it is an instruction that you are giving, don’t give room for interpretation of what you mean to him. Focus on the actions required, not on the feelings behind them. Be cooperative even though you are the supervisor not competitive with the person.

Sometimes you will be met with resistance as a female supervisor. Understand where the resistance is coming from so your feathers don’t get ruffled. We are in a male oriented society where men traditionally dominate in the business world. Now there is a woman in charge. You are going to be a threat to both sexes because of that reason. As long as your workplace communication skills are very good and utilized properly there should not be a problem in this day and age with your position.