Effective Workplace Communication

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Communication is key! It’s the most important aspect of a job (or an Internship). Poor communication in the workplace can create conflict and damage relationships. Here are some tips for effective workplace communication:

1. Respect Cultural Differences

To illustrate this point, let me share with you a little story: The President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, visited Australia in 1992. During one of his visits in the countryside he flashed the peace sign to some farmers. What he didn’t know was that for the farmers, it was a really disrespectful sign… Fortunately that anecdote didn’t create a diplomatic incident; moreover in a work place miscommunication could lead to a serious problem. Be aware of the culture of your co-workers to properly understand their communication, and adapt your behaviour to the Australian environment.

2. Give and Receive Feedback

Feedback is key for effective communication and good comprehension. It’s a two way street. Your co-workers need to know that you understand what they have told you or asked you to do. It’s also important to receive feedback of your work in order to know what you need to improve and what you have done well. It’s a big part of your motivation! Feedback is useful in other ways too; by providing positive feedback to your supervisor and recognising the work they do will help to build a better relationship with them.

3. Control your Emotions    

In an office, many different personalities converge in a quite small place. Sometimes, emails or discussions can be interpreted in different ways. Keep in mind that work is work; it’s not always a personal attack. Control your emotions and take a deep breath! If you really think that you can’t control yourself… Talk to your supervisor about it!

4. Take the time to Listen, not only Hear!    

To make sure you have an effective exchange with someone, you have to be focused and really listen to what is happening. If at one point you are thinking about your next meeting or your schedule for the next weekend, then you are just hearing and not effectively listening. To be an effective communicator it takes a little bit of practice, and listening to people the entire day is not an easy task, but you can do it!

5. Clarify the situation face to face or with a call    

Nowadays, people rely on communicating through e-mails within the office which can easily lead to a misunderstanding. If you are not sure on what’s been written, give the person a call or go and talk to them face to face to make sure you understood correctly. It’s also a good way to know your colleagues better!

Follow these useful tips to help you have a rewarding internship experience!

Published on by Daniele L.