“Communication works for those who work at it.” – John Powell
Communication is not just key in every job, but in everyday life. However, communication at work, where efficiency and working relationships are involved, is especially tricky to get right. You do not necessarily get to choose whom you work with and may have to successfully communicate with people that may not ‘speak the same language’ as you do. A conscious business is aware of this and will prioritise conscious communication.
So, here are our thoughts on how to communicate with mindfulness and clarity, to help your conscious business thrive.
1. Intentional Speech
Always consider who you are talking to and try to tailor your manner accordingly. The biggest stumbling block is often humour. Everybody has a sense of humour, but those senses can often be different. Humour may also seem inappropriate in the situation to the person you are communicating with but entirely called for in your opinion. Just always try to be mindful of the other party, and what style is going to be the most appropriate and productive at the moment.
This follows on from the last point nicely. Try not to shift off-topic or complicate your explanation of things. Keep things clear and to the point. Remember, the brain of the person you are talking to will be different to yours, so might understand things differently. Choose your words with care and economy, making sure that the other party is following you at all times.
3. Take Everything In
Listen to the responses you get and be sure to react to them as opposed to ploughing on with your own line of thought regardless. Listen consciously and react consciously.
4. A Safe Space
If you are about to embark on a sensitive or pressing discussion, it might be an idea to ensure that you are in an appropriate space. When engaging in relatively high-stakes communication, it really helps to be in a space where all parties feel comfortable. A comfortable environment should mean that you can all open up and say everything that really needs to be said. Not doing this can mean that not all the information gets into the room and that whatever conclusion the discussion comes to, is based on a situation where not everyone has felt able to get out all that they need to get out.
5. Understand Your Relationship
Consider your relationship both personally and professionally. A conscious business will have made clear what the expectations are around appropriate communication between colleagues… but humans and their real-life relationships are more nuanced than that. Be really mindful of where the lines are drawn professionally, but also use your personal relationship to the interaction’s advantage.
6. Try to Keep On Top Of Your Emotions
If, during workplace communication, you feel emotions coming your way, try not to ignore them. This does not mean letting them out, as this is generally not appropriate or helpful. Instead, either return to your breathing or try to be conscious of the trigger for your emotions. If breathing is not working, try to excuse yourself and have a moment alone. Work is important, but you must put your own wellbeing and emotional state first.
7. Be Honest
Successful communication and effective solutions are based on honesty. This doesn’t just relate to telling only truths during discussions, but also means not holding back vital information or being dishonest about how you are really feeling about whatever the topic is.
8. Don’t Assume
For the sake of appearances and pushing a conversation along, we often make assumptions. We assume somebody means one thing when they might mean another, and we assume people feel a way about something based on our previous knowledge of them when they might feel the opposite on this occasion. Never be afraid to ask for clarification. If you are unsure about something that has just been said, ask the question. Questions, when asked with empathy and kindness, should never be a problem in a well-oiled discussion.
By Chris Thomson
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