Navigating Business Communication in a Social Media-Obsessed World
Social Media has changed the game when it comes to what is or isn’t an acceptable way to communicate effectively in an office setting. Many Millennials wouldn’t think twice about using slang or expletives when talking casually with their co-workers or even in the morning sales meetings with company execs. This behavior, however, may strike some of their Generation X and Baby Boomer colleagues as being a bit on the unprofessional side.
Although language rules are changing as rapidly as modern technology, learning to adjust your style is necessary, and effectively navigating workplace communications is crucial to creating a space where everyone feels validated. Such an environment is, ultimately, the only way for a business, and it’s employees, to succeed and thrive.
Becoming an expert communicator is also a great way to hone and display your leadership abilities, which will come in handy when sourcing for references or a job promotion.
Reflective Listening and Feedback
Businesses have a bottom line to support, no question. There are times when they need to disseminate important information to employees, customers, or colleagues. Communicating that information effectively often requires a certain diplomacy, specificity, or conciseness.
Think of a doctor who has to share unfortunate information about a diagnosis with a patient or a company official who has to inform employees about impending layoffs. Someone who can offer this information in a clear, concise way along with the detailed facts to back it up is an effective business communicator.
Less is more, and great communicators can condense a page worth of information to something the size of a business card!
A great interpersonal communicator is someone who, after releasing the facts, encourages sharing of reactions and feelings. They will then go a step further by responding to that shared feedback with compassion and a willingness to keep the dialogue going.
In the medical field, it’s what’s referred to as “good bedside manner.” For example, many doctors are excellent researchers and diagnosticians, but often what really makes them stand out is how well they relate to patients and whether they display a willingness to listen and act as a partner in health care rather than just disseminating instructions.
Static vs. Fluid Dialogue
One way to illustrate the difference between static vs. fluid dialogue is to look at how someone in the human resources department at your company might interact with you as opposed to how you might be approached by your boss on a daily basis.
With your boss, communication may be limited to a performance-based dialogue that deals mostly with the bottom line of what your job entails.
The rapport is good and flows effortlessly, but because of work obligations, there is often very little time to develop a relationship that extends to your personal life or other interests you might have.
Alternatively, with the human resources department, chances are you’ve had to share quite a lot of personal information about yourself and your family. Perhaps you’re concerned about how a promotion would affect your ability to parent as effectively as you’d like or to return to school for an advanced degree.
The best case scenario with a human resources supervisor is someone who can take the knowledge they have of your business challenges and your personal life and help you successfully navigate a good work/life balance.
Earmarks of a Leader: Showing Support and Encouragement
According to Entrepreneur magazine, “Good communication and interpersonal skills help leaders seem approachable, likable, and comfortable in their position … they also help motivate employees to do a better job.”
Someone who can make you feel like an integral part of the company culture rather than just a cog in the wheel or a number, is a positive example of using good interpersonal skills in a business setting.
We hope you enjoyed the above post in cooperation with Socialnomics!
About the author: Missy Woodruff is a social media-obsessed mother of three who enjoys blogging about everything from cats to taxes on sites like mightytaxes.com