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The Chamber Blog

This space features conversations about issues affecting the Decatur-Morgan County area from leaders in our community.

Communicating effectively is a major game-changer

The importance of effective communication in the workplace cannot be stressed enough. It is an indispensable entrepreneurial skill that can be learned and nurtured for improved productivity and successful achievement of goals.

Effective communication in the workplace not only helps to reduce errors, but promotes bonding among employees, increases understanding of work, as well as helps resolve conflicts. Now, you might think effective communication is just about talking. Well, it's not. As a matter of fact, more than 90 percent of workplace communication is non-verbal.

Since talking is just a small part of communication, relying on it solely would yield just a tiny fraction of the outcome you would want to achieve. Effective communication is about learning from each other—a giving and receiving situation—so that everyone learns something valuable out of the conversation.

Here are Five (5) Game-Changer Strategies you can use to help you improve your communications skills and deliver motivation, solutions, and success in the workplace:

Game-Changer #1: Listen more than you talk

Some people talk non-stop so that they ignore the most crucial element of effective communication—listening! Truly listening to others helps us learn better, connect with people better, and make decisions based on a more in-depth understanding of things. To help you improve your listening skills, immediately repeat an important point or phrase that the other person has said. Not only does this technique serve to aid your memory, but it communicates to the other person that you are really interested in what he or she is saying.

Game-Changer #2: Be in the moment

When someone is delivering information, avoid thinking about what you want to say next. When you focus on the message, you will be able to follow up with engaging questions that draw out more information from the other person.

Game-Changer #3: Hold meetings in a quiet place

Places such as cafeteria, front office area, and playgrounds are not conducive to serious meetings as the noise can serve as a barrier to effective communication. Conduct your meetings in conference rooms or any meeting room where there is pin-drop silence.

Game-Changer #4: Set aside your emotions and focus on the real issue

In the workplace, with so many different personalities gathered around in a small area, work discussions can sometimes turn into angry debates and personal attacks. When this happens to you, do the following: 1. Rein in your emotions; 2. Count one to ten; 3. Take your mind away from the angry remarks; 4. Think hard about the real issue; 5. Respond in a calm and intelligent manner.

Game-Changer #5: Build trust in the workplace

Did you know that one of the secrets to building a high-performance company and achieving massive business growth is by building trust in the workplace? Trust is one of the secret ingredients to making your people feel truly inspired and motivated to perform their very best each day — even when there are no managers around!

Don't be a meddler. Autonomy in the workplace breeds innovation. Give your employees all the tools they need and then back off and let them do their job.

Effective communication in the workplace begins with you. Understand that getting your point across is often as much about understanding another person's viewpoint as it is plugging your own ideas into the equation.

Remember, good solid communication in the workplace dissolves barriers and eliminates problems. At the same time you are also building stronger workplace relationships for increased motivation and productivity.

Editor's Note: TFE invites you to their May 6 live webinar "Communicating Effectively," where the information above and more will be discussed at length. The webinar is available to Chamber members through an alliance relationship this Chamber has with TFE. To activate your TFE membership, click here. To register for the webinar, click here.

Terry H. Hill is the co-founder and chief business mentor at Training for Entrepreneurs.com. He is a veteran chief executive, his three plus decades of work with business owners, executives, and employees of privately held companies has been instrumental in helping them deal with the challenges they face in each stage of their business life cycle. Terry is the author of the book, How to Jumpstart Your Business, a practical guide for down-to-earth answers to questions and challenges that every business owner and executive faces. Visit his website at www.trainingforentrepreneurs.com.

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