Smart Office Talk…Do’s & Don’ts of Communicating Constructively

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker

 

If there is one thing I have learned over the years as a parent it would have to be learning the “Do’s and Don’ts of effective communication skills. 

Even with all of the years of practice I have from my corporate banking years, the candid truth children share often times with their parents can be painful…necessary, but painful. 

You see, it’s not just the words we use when sharing ideas.  It’s also the body language, tone, eye contact and whether we even engage in dialogue at all that can make a world of difference. IThis is of prime importantce with colleagues, employees managed and theC Suite.  

Here are a few “Notes to Self” and behaviors which can impair employee motivation.

I have learned along the way, courtesy of my four (now big) little ones:

Silence…The Quiet Killer

Often times in an effort to not be too hasty in reacting, we can pause a response a little too long.  This while useful, can also be a deadly one. 

Take for example, when someone at work has just come in with a new hairstyle and is asking your opinion.  Do we follow the old mom advise of, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s your call how to best handle it, I know for me, honesty is the best policy. 

Speaking the truth in a nice, respectful way is always the best policy in any situation.

Gossip…Energy Zapper

Gossip is one of those things that once it starts; it becomes very difficult to stop.  It feeds energy from its own source and grows quickly!  It is like a wild forest fire. Some people love it and there are those who hate it. 

Yet, we have all been guilty of participating in it at some point in our lives.  My best advice is to stop it before it starts and walk away when you hear it coming.  It is a huge time-waster, false storyteller, and can be very hurtful to all who join in. 

As a parent, how we participate in this “trash talk” is critical to how our children will follow.  Set the example of how you want your kids to behave, remember, they are always watching!

No Wining Zone

Whether it’s complaining, wining or just negative talk, none of it is useful.  Addressing issues, venting, and detoxing is useful provided it is done in a constructive way.  I always like to say that if you have a complaint, bring me a solution.  If you have the need to do some wining, give yourself a timeline.  The only “wine” this mama likes is the kind that comes in a bottle with a cork on top!

So whether you have children, employees or co-workers, effective communication skills is key to all good relationships.  How we say something is just as critical as what is said and good listening skills is always at the top of the priority list.  So remember to use silence responsibly, gossip has no merit, and wine comes in a bottle. 

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker

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