Posted in Communication, Nonverbal

Team Toolbox: How to Communicate Effectively at Work

Of the nine tips in this slide presentation, this one bears weight for me: Attitude is important.

I am fond of making requests in person, especially if I can easily walk over to someone’s workstation. I’ve always believed such gestures make interactions more personal, meaningful.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I walked over to someone to ask him who will be setting up the room for our “Business Writing Today” event. I sent an email beforehand, and I was just making sure members of this support group know what we need.

The person from the support group turned around when I called out to him. What happened next was simply unforgettable: this man remained seated . . . but his legs were splayed out in front of me. He remained slouched on his chair and all along, his elbow nonchalantly rested on his workstation. He also had a rather drowsy expression on his face.

The abovementioned is the perfect example of how not to communicate effectively.

For a while I continued talking to this staff, but when I couldn’t bear it any longer, I interrupted myself and said he shouldn’t be ‘talking’ to people in that manner. It shows disrespect towards the person speaking and apathy to the latter’s concerns. I even asked him, “Would you like people talking to you in the same way?” And of course he said, “No.”

This person could’ve been having a bad (hair) day, but his attitude was not an excuse to be a sloppy communicator. Excuse yourself if you’re not feeling well.

The take-away is that it pays to be aware of how we come across when talking to others, especially in the workplace. Actions speak louder than words. Make your first impression count.

Which of the tips from the link do you find useful?

First published: 23 November 2011