Open and honest conversations are almost never easy, especially in the workplace. Coworkers often hide facts and sugarcoat realities to avoid confrontation. As a result, workplace communication can frequently become manipulative and counterproductive.
As a leader or manager in the company, you can choose to create an environment where your employees feel free to have “real” conversations in the workplace.
Here are eight steps to revolutionize workplace communication — one authentic conversation at a time:
Be a Team Player
Choose to see the good in people and approach others as allies as opposed to enemies. The more you view your coworkers as teammates, the more productive your communication will be. When your co-workers lose, you lose. When they win, you win. It’s that simple.
Have an Opinion
Whatever the conversation may be, have an informed viewpoint and stick to it. Accept the fact that not everyone will agree on everything! Instead, be willing to respect the opinions of others, smile, and simply “agree to disagree.” This demonstrates that different views and perspectives are welcomed within the office space, generating more open and productive conversations.
Focus On the Important Things
Leadership is not about always being right or having all the correct answers. It is, however, about the ability to engage others in having an open conversation, considering all options on the table, and making an executive decision on what the best option is for your company.
Confront Difficult Situations
Sooner or later, a difficult issue will require a difficult conversation. One of the hardest parts of being a leader is having difficult discussions in order to make the workplace, as a whole, better. Whether it be an employee’s declining work performance, disputes within the office, or something as simple as making a mess in the break room, issues within the work environment must be confronted as soon as possible. Otherwise, these problems can create a snowball effect and create a whole shift in your company culture.
Own Up to Your Mistakes
Most people would rather finger point when things go wrong as opposed to ‘fessing up to their own mistakes. To create a better culture, identify your contribution to the problem at hand and move forward to a solution. Pointing fingers only creates distrust in the workplace.
Every office place has a “Negative Nancy” or a “Donnie Downer.” Do not waste your energy trying to make these cynics see your point of view. Instead, respect their opinions, move forward, and disprove the cynicism within your office by simply bringing your company great success. These ‘half-empty’ folks will be ‘half-full’ in no time.
Take a Breather
When a conversation turns sour, do not escalate the situation. The best thing to do is to admit there is an impasse, make a good-faith statement, and move forward. When the timing is right, and when everyone has cooled down, go back and try to address the situation at hand. Otherwise, you’re only pouring gasoline on the fire while it is hot and making matters worse.
Cultivate the Best Staff
A huge part of making a positive change and revolutionizing the workplace is making sure you have the right staff in place. Trust Snelling to find the employees that fit into your company culture. Contact your local Snelling office today to get started finding the best talent on the market.