.As we have evolved as a society, our opportunity to be exposed to different cultures and expose others to our own culture can no longer be avoided. This gives everyone a great responsibility. Although we have our own communication styles and peer communication comfort, we have to learn to speak to the audience we are exposed to. This does not mean that we stop being genuine to who we are. In fact, it allows us to tap into our many communication styles that we have now been educated to develop.
An article in Forbes magazine written by Amy Rees Anderson points out a study by Dr. Lund asking very important questions about the intention when communicating in the work place. The article touches on client relationship topics. However, these questions can be used for workplace communication as a general rule.
When you are communicating ask yourself: Are you communicating something that can be painful or cause emotions. This is important Companies have established workplace communication guidelines to prevent inappropriate work place conversation. The limitations remove our sense of diversity because they lead to such sensitive and emotional topics which appear to be offensive. In order to avoid communicating something that can be painful or emotional in the workplace remove emotion and replace this emotion with facts.
Another question to consider is the length of the topic. Many companies want to see productive employees. This means limiting small talk. This even extends to meetings we may have with a supervisor or manager. We have to make sure that what is discussed is relevant. You want to be taken seriously. You don’t want to be ignored because you ramble to a point your topic is no longer relevant.
Finally, when discussing a topic, ask yourself is this something that anyone needs to hear? When we go into a business meeting or even in our casual work conversation we always have to remember this is work. This is my potential long term career. The representation is important. If there is a topic that is not necessary or can be damaging it is best to refrain. The end goal in work place conversation is marketing yourself as an employee that can help the company grow.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor