Manual Communicating at Work: Strategies for Success in Business and the Professions (Communication)

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Group communications are perfect for providing general information, education, and praise; however, they should not be used for individual direction or criticism. Remember, praise in public and criticize in private. Meet Subordinates Face-to-Face The meaning and intent of written words without the context of a physical presence is often misunderstood, and can lead to confusion and conflict.

There is no substitute for looking someone in the eye and seeing their reaction to your conversation to clarify content and assure comprehension and agreement. Managers often hide behind memos and notes as if their subordinates were robots to be moved into place and programmed. However, successful leaders seek personable commitment and build bridges of trust, mutual respect, and shared experience. Assign Tasks Directly and Clearly People work best when they know what is expected of them. Good managers identify the goals and measures in simple, understandable terms, assign responsibility unequivocally, and confirm that the information is understood by those to whom it is directed.

Good managers follow up and give corrective input to ensure that each of his subordinates is on the same page and working toward the same objective. Managers should always remember that no employee takes a job with the expectation that he or she will be overlooked, ignored, or insignificant at work. Employees want to be liked and respected by their peers and proud of their employer. Mistakes are part of growing, and falling short and correcting the course are regular occurrences in business and in life.

Dealing with subordinates the way you would wish to be dealt with in a similar situation is the best course any manager can take. My friend, the assistant manager, could also learn from this event. His reaction, though understandable, exacerbated the situation needlessly. As a consequence, he and the other assistants suffered from useless worry and wasted time and effort commiserating with each other about the perceived injustice they had experienced.


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This time and energy could have been better spent addressing the problems of the store and improving customer service. It is impossible to know the motivations behind any activity, only the physical actions and outcome of the activity.

Results-Oriented Communication in the Workplace

As a consequence, criticism should be given and accepted unemotionally, considered for its validity and pertinence, and implemented when action is justified. Consider the information received as intended to get a different result, not a personal attack. Understand the Situation In this case, the precipitating cause for the criticism was the physical condition and appearance of the store.

At other times, constructive criticism is part of a regular employee performance review , designed to give both parties feedback. Use both opportunities to build your relationship and get information. Use a review as an opportunity to receive and give intelligence that might otherwise be missed.

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Be Understanding Whenever you receive what you consider to be an unjustified personal attack or criticism, recognize the source and their circumstances before jumping to a conclusion. Unfortunately, people have bad days, and they often respond by assailing others for little or no reason.


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  7. When heads are cooler and pressures are less, contact the assailant to learn more about the problem and how you can be part of the solution. Learn From Your Mistakes Whatever the stage of your career, you can and should continue to learn.

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    Even the latter can teach you something. In this case, my friend learned how he felt when unjustly accused of poor performance. Hopefully, he will remember his feelings before he makes the same mistakes with the people who report to him currently or in the future. Sometimes, the bad examples are more effective than the good.

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    Check with your instructor to see if Connect is used in your course. When communicating with thinkers, you will want to focus on the facts and logic. Feelers, on the other hand, are guided more by personal values. When engaging with feelers, you will want to appeal to those values and stress their impact on others. Even when you understand your communication style and those of your colleagues, you will occasionally experience conflicts and misunderstandings, particularly among groups.

    Communicating at Work: Strategies for Success in Business and the Professions

    When problems emerge within a group, you may need to turn to the team for help in finding a solution. Try organizing a group discussion. This requires good communication, of course! Send out an early agenda, express the purpose of the meeting up front, frame the decision making with key questions, and clarify the leadership. During the meeting, follow these four steps:. The most desirable result of the group discussion is consensus, where everyone agrees on the solution. But this may not always be feasible. Other situations may necessitate a majority vote, third-party mediation or arbitration, or even a temporary suspension of the discussion.

    Another type of conflict that often arises in the workplace is giving—and receiving—criticism. Even though criticism is normal, it is often uncomfortable for all parties involved. Instead of avoiding it, why not learn to better offer and receive criticism? If you are a leader or manager, you may find yourself in the position to offer criticism to an employee. To make this more comfortable, choose a setting that is private and nonthreatening.