When your boss calls you or sends you an email and says he wants to see you in his office, does your heart stop beating and a lump forms in your throat? The questions immediately start bombarding your mind: What did I do wrong? Did I make a mistake? Was I late handing that project in? Am I in trouble? Am I going to get fired? The questions are endless and no clear answers are evident util you are sitting across from your boss waiting for them to speak those first few words.
In most situations, you boss is just wanting to touch base with you, see how you are doing, wondering if there are any questions you have, or simply to sign off on your vacation time or better yet, give you a raise! Yet our minds always wander to the negative, wondering what is in store behind door number one. Is this fact or fiction?
This is a fact!There will always be a communication barrier between the employer and the employee. No matter how approachable your employer may be or how long you have worked together, the invisible barrier remains.
However, even with the invisible barrier in place, communication in the workplace is possible. All that is needed, is two willing parties, as communication is both the sending and receiving of a message. And as one man quotes, “What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.” Communicate!
Communication is: Being Approachable.
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your employees is an open-door policy; literally and in actuality. Let your employees know and feel that they can come to you at any time with any issue and the issue will be considered. And really listen to what they have to say. If you just brush off what they have to say, they will stop coming to you and the walls of invisibility will be built up even higher.
Communication is: Verbal and Non-Verbal
Not only do your words need to be communicated clearly and concisely but your actions speak just as loud as words. Studies show that while 7% of a message is communicated verbally, 93% is communicated non-verbally. Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice and body language. Both verbal and non-verbal communication contributes to paint a clear picture of the message being delivered. So make sure you are sending the right message to your employees and that it is being received with the right intentions.
Communication is: Listening.
Really listen to what your employees have to say. If you do not take the time to hear what they are thinking, you will find out about it in a different way. Work performance will drop, attitudes will develop and coldness will pervade your office environment resulting in poor productivity. People like to know that they have a voice and that they are being heard. So take the time to sit down and listen to any concerns or questions your employees have. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Communication in the workplace is essential if you want your business to succeed. Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to communicate: speaking and listening. And that is something you have to live with everyday!