Effective communication skills are vital for building a well-functioning workplace yet many of us interact with each other using a style we learned at home or through our friends or co-workers. Here are 101 effective communication tips to help you build a healthier, happier workplace:
1. Listen to your employees.
2. Don't interrupt.
3. Don't offer advice.
4. Refrain from trying to fix things.
5. Don't give your opinion if not solicited.
6. Stop yourself from jumping in.
7. Don't react or get upset.
8. Listen for key terms.
9. Set basic ground rules.
10. Repeat information back to the person.
11. Paraphrase what the person has said.
12. Ask the person open-ended questions.
13. Talk in a quiet environment.
14. Talk at a time that isn't busy.
15. Be friendly.
16. Be courteous.
17. Don't sit behind a desk.
18. Set up a comfortable atmosphere.
19. Let the other person lead the conversation.
20. No retribution for anything said.
21. Keep confidentiality.
22. Work with the person to find solutions.
23. Be open to more conversations.
24. Be gentle.
25. Talk at the other person's pace.
26. Be kind.
27. Be caring.
28. Act like you're interested.
29. Face the person.
30. Look at the person.
31. Nod and say "uh huh."
32. Invite the person to keep talking.
33. It's OK to have silences.
34. Try not to guide the conversation.
35. Let the other person set the agenda.
36. Meet at a time the other person determines.
37. Be open to ideas.
38. Be open to changing your mind.
39. Don't react out of emotion, especially anger.
40. Empathize with the other person.
41. Put yourself in the other person's shoes.
42. Be helpful.
43. Act like the other person matters.
44. Allow enough time for the conversation.
45. Leave your ego at the door.
46. Leave personal beefs behind.
47. Leave negative opinions out of the meeting.
48. Talk only when the other person asks you to do so.
49. Let the other person talk most of the time.
50. Resist the temptation to rebut.
51. This isn't the time to be right.
52. Don't try to prove a point.
53. No arguing allowed.
54. No convincing the other person of your point of view.
55. Don't cross your arms.
56. Thank the person for meeting with you.
57. Don't pull rank.
58. Don't mention policies or procedures.
59. Don't reference the employee manual.
60. This isn't the time to punish.
61. Encourage the other person's thoughts.
62. Build rapport.
63. Show an interest in the other person.
64. Learn about the other person.
65. Appreciate the information they are giving you.
66. Focus on the other person.
67. Don't think of the next thing you want to say.
69. Try not to crack jokes at the other person's expense.
70. Don't diminish or minimize what the person is saying.
71. Don't negate what the other person is saying.
72. This isn't about right and wrong, it's about talking.
73. Don't teach.
74. Don't try to dominate.
75. Don't try to control the situation.
76. Turn your phone off.
77. All ideas are welcome.
78. One person talks at a time.
79. Act like a grownup.
80. Avoid confrontation.
81. Don't take things personally.
82. The other person's opinion is incredibly valuable.
83. Think in terms of building a relationship.
84. Use conversation to build a stronger team.
85. Let people find their own answers.
86. Answer questions only when asked.
87. Treat the other person like a human being.
88. The other person isn't an enemy.
89. Treat the other person like an ally.
90. This isn't a competition, it's a conversation.
91. Encourage different points of view.
92. Praise the other person.
93. Try not to predict what the other person will say.
94. Don't work out your family stuff at this time.
95. Speak clearly.
96. Speak openly.
97. Speak in a calm tone.
98. Don't raise your voice.
99. Be positive.
100. Ask for help if you need it.
101. Be courageous.
Effective communication doesn't just happen, it takes practice over time. Many people get discouraged because it takes time and energy to become an expert communicator. The good news is that anyone can do it if they commit to practicing over time. Effective communication is about techniques but also about our mindset, you can create amazing, dynamic and caring workplaces if you decide to interact positively with others.