It can be said that effective communication is one of the most important skills for your success at work and in life in general. When you can get your point across, express empathy, and present your project brilliantly, you gain credibility, trust, and connections, and advance your career.
However, unfortunately, communication can also be a challenge: too little time, too many gaps between people and too many complex ideas to share. A new study brings a fresh look at communication at work and shows what types of communication are valued, and thus how to work better with others and reap the rewards.
Communication has a huge impact
Communication skills have a significant impact on effectiveness and credibility. Indeed, according to a study by the University of Bologna and Willmar Scheufele From the University of Utrecht, when leaders are perceived as having effective communication, team members are more engaged, more efficient, and more optimistic.
In another study by the University of Münster, participants rated communication style as superior to professional standards in assessing the reliability and credibility of content and experts.
Communication is a challenge for many, however, and 59% of knowledge workers Worried about reduced communication effectiveness, especially when working in promiscuous mode, according to research by Grammarly. Business leaders surveyed believe their team members lose out, on average 7.5 hours per week Because of a misunderstanding, and 72% of them They say their team struggled to communicate effectively.
In addition, 90% of the respondents He said that bad communication had negative repercussions such as increased costs (45%), missed deadlines (39%), deterioration of brand reputation (34%) or decreased productivity (28%). A study by Pumble showed that 86% of respondents We believe that a lack of effective communication and collaboration skills is the number one cause of job failure, and that when teams communicate effectively, productivity can increase by 25%.
It is possible to communicate more effectively and reap the benefits of networking, such as greater credibility and better relationships.
#1. Be selective
Email is notorious for being time consuming, but most workers prefer this method of communication. In fact, according to a study by LiveCareer, it’s the number one way to communicate at work:
- Emails (49% of respondents)
- Phone calls (23% of respondents)
- Instant messaging applications (21% of respondents)
In a world where there are so many meetings, email can be a welcome alternative. According to a study by mmhmm, 57% of respondents Meeting could have been avoided by using e-mail, more or less often, he said.
Be aware of workers’ general preferences, and use email with confidence, especially when it can replace a meeting. Also, use the “rule of five” with email. If an email takes more than five minutes to read, is longer than five lines, or requires more than five exchanges to resolve, you might be better off picking up the phone. On the other hand, if you need to communicate a lot of details that people will need to refer back to later, email may be the ideal method of communication.
However, also consider individual preferences. For some, texting for work is an inappropriate invasion of privacy, but for others, it’s okay. For example, for a salesperson who is always in his car, phone calls may be the best solution.
#2. Communicate in person
While work is now largely done remotely, face-to-face communication retains its value. According to a LiveCareer study, 83% of the respondents I realized that online communication is more likely to cause misunderstandings than in person. Interestingly (or surprisingly) this is especially true of the healthcare industry, where 97% of respondents You find online communication confusing.
In addition, 81% of respondents I felt that online communication takes longer than in person. Sometimes it takes a little longer to find a suitable place that works for everyone, but once you do, you’ll likely find it easier to resolve questions or share information in person.
The magic of personal communication, of course, lies in the density of information you can process. You can share the nuances of information and emotions associated with an issue and reach resolution quickly when you can include non-verbal information that comes from personal discussions. Even phone calls allow a greater density of information to be exchanged thanks to the tone of voice, the speed of speech, or the pauses in conversation.
Personal chats also help build relationships more effectively. When you roll your eyes or shrug your shoulders, you are confiding in someone about your feelings or insecurities. When you lean forward, make eye contact, offer sympathy, or laugh together, you are showing someone you care and are present.
So come to the office, call someone on your video podium, or pick up the phone to troubleshoot.
#3. Spend some time there
If you take the time to check your email, you’re in good company. Most people (40%) spend two to three hours a day checking email, while 33% only spend an hour or two.
The amount of time people spend checking their email depends in part on their age. People with only a year or two of professional experience spend less time checking their email, while people with seniority spend the most. This could be due to the email traffic they were receiving or the positions they held. If workers expand their relationships and influence their career path, they may find themselves in more communication or email loops, requiring their time and attention.
It seems difficult to clean your email inbox. despite 69% of workersSpending one to three hours a week going through and deleting emails on your own 38% who are they They’ve already experienced the sweet taste of “no new emails” in their inbox, with no emails in their queue.
Communicating effectively takes time, but the effort is worth it. The leaders who are available and accessible are usually the most trusted. Also, co-workers who respond and follow up well are the people they prefer to work with. Habits that make you more communicative and responsive reduce proximity bias and boost your credibility.
So go through emails and respond quickly to those easy messages or others waiting to get on with their work. Then prioritize emails that are important, but will require more time or focus. Group them together so you can set time slots to answer when you have a focus period.
#4. Be responsive
Expectations about email response times have increased, with the majority of people expecting an email response within hours:
- 1-2 hours, 19%
- 3-6 hours 39%
- 7 to 12 hours, 32%.
- 1 to 11 pm at 7%.
- 24 hours or more 3%.
Also, people frequently respond to emails outside of business hours, 84% of them They say they check their work inbox outside of business hours. When asked how often they check their emails, 49% said they do so occasionally during the day, 20% every hour and 24% once a day.
It is best to check your emails at a pace that matches your job requirements and style. If you are in a situation that requires more immediate follow-up, you will obviously need to check in more often. However, you can also consider your own preferences and limitations.
For some people, checking their email more regularly helps reduce stress, get things done, and get some satisfaction from it. For others, it may be best to set time slots during the day when you can respond to all emails at once.
You can also set boundaries with your colleagues. Be transparent about how you like to receive communications, how often you check-in, and what people can expect from your follow-ups. Being open about your approaches to work can help you and your colleagues be more effective, and know what you can expect from each other.
Your professional credibility depends on many factors, but follow through, continuity, and great communication top the list when it comes to how others like you, learn to rely on you, and want to work with you.
Set healthy boundaries for yourself, but also consider what your colleagues will expect of you to succeed. A balance between your needs and the needs of others contributes to your success, but also to your happiness and fulfillment.
Translated article from Forbes US – Author: Tracy Brower
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