Can you hear me now?
The time of the week set aside for addressing anything from time management to management roles…
Let’s talk about managing office communication!
Sometimes you might feel like you’re struggling to productively communicate your message to your coworkers, or employees. At times it seems like you are on two different wave lengths! Have you considered the possibility that maybe you are stuck in the “abyss” of communication; the “language Barrier”? We don’t mean the geographical and cultural kind of language barrier. Office miscommunications often times causes irreversible damage to relationships and business productivity. You’re left wishing your office conversations were as simple as Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” commercials. It would be nice to live in “Verizon commercial world” where everything you say would translate clearly and accurately to the other individual. While office miscommunications are not completely avoidable due to time and other variables, maybe a change in processing can help you get closer to that utopia than you thought possible.
Introducing the “Five Languages for Engagement at Work TM” can help. This is the office and corporate approach to Gary Chapman’s The Five Languages of Love. Keep in mind that communication is so much more than just speaking style and vocabulary. More importantly, your job is to not only to learn and effectively understand the “Five languages for Engagement TM”, but to also know your team’s language and plane of thinking.
The Five Languages for Engagement:
- Verbal Recognition – A great way to show appreciation is through verbal communication. This type of communication specifically looks to praise and verbal cues which indicate they are on the right track and have done well. You may not need this, but for them the lack of it, could mean disregard, and disapproval. Verbalize your gratitude and explain why that action was valuable to them, you and the business.
- Sharing the load – This individual appreciates actual affirmation. We are talking about show not tell. Nothing weighs heavier than the willingness of a leader or a coworker to lend a helping hand, or to express acts of comradery in some way. While it is important to walk a fine line in the interest of your own work-life balance and job success, it is an absolute must to not be self-focused. Don’t wait for someone to ask, offer to lighten the load and show your concern for their needs and development in the organization.
- Quality Time – For this type of employee, days off and flex-time are very important. Occasionally offering days off, can really communicate your respect for work-life balance as well as your appreciation of the employee. Establishing a flex-time work schedule is a similar method. In fact, research has shown that many employees with family obligations work more effectively out of work. Furthermore, as the number of highly-educated women entering the workforce increases, there will be more demand for them to have flexibility in their hours (Wall Street Journal and WhiteHouse.gov).
- Giving Gifts – This type of individual enjoys gift receiving more than all others in feeling appreciated and valued. Taking the time to know whether your employee is interested in joining the gym and offering them a free gym membership, or getting a gift card to their favorite restaurant will speak to their needs.
- Inviting Input – For some individuals recognition takes the form of achievement. A seat at the leadership table is no small thing. As a stake-holder in the company, this individual would like to know they are talented. Your willingness to both ask for their input and utilize their advice truly communicates their importance. In the same way, additional leadership responsibilities show trust in their capabilities, which walks hand in hand with their drive for achievement.