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Communication Etiquette

September 18, 2020

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Four generations at work, numerous mediums to use, and new technology to master – does your organization have a need for a class on communication etiquette? 

Organizations can start by determining guidelines that will works best in your culture and workforce. Is your culture formal or casual? Tech savvy or still needs training? Pick the correct mediums for the job and culture – email, phone, TEAMS, Zoom, Social Media, or in-person when possible.  Improve emotional intelligence, build engagement, and become better communicators using these tips:

1. Focus –Put your phone on do not disturb, turn off notifications on your laptop, turn your video setting from “everyone” to “who is talking”.  Give your task undivided attention. 

2. Listen – Listening is one of the most underrated tools at work. Listen to what someone is saying instead of thinking about what you want to say. Ask for clarification or feedback.

3. Timing is everything – Use your out of office or status symbol in TEAMS or a similar system.  Block out your calendar for those times you are on deadline.  It will show that you are not available to communicate.

4. Be Present – For in-person/virtual communication stay on track.  Everyone’s time is valuable. State the goals and results you want to achieve.  Create an agenda, send out documents ahead of time, or have them ready to share.

5. Digital Drama – For text-based communication be sure to read the message and respond with even a simple thank you. This lets your coworkers know you received their message.  Your communications guidelines should state that if no reply is needed, to put “NRN” in the subject line to eliminate the reply step.

If your business does not have a communication policy, it is wise to establish some guidelinesto help employees understand how to communicate effectively. Providing introductory training on how to get the most out of your organization’s communication tools will help employees to utilize all the features and realize productivity benefits.

Workplace miscommunication comes with a cost in terms of lawsuits, low morale, loss of respect, misunderstandings, and poor customer service. A communication strategy could result in greater productivity, and higher end-user satisfaction.

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