The importance of communication in the workplace cannot be emphasized enough. It serves as a medium for fostering trust and strengthening relationships between the various stakeholders at the workplace. Vital interpersonal communication skills are considered one of the most desirable soft skills in your resume. This article looks at the different types of communication useful in the workplace and how to sharpen your communication skills for winning at work.
Communication skills in the workplace are essential for effective team management and team building. It also allows the employees to express themselves in a better manner, promoting a culture of innovation. Good communication skills can help stakeholders inefficient conflict management and relationship building. If you want to empower your colleagues, you need to be a strong communicator.
Lastly, stronger communication skills help in creating a clearer and more streamlined workflow. This has a direct impact on the overall environment at work and also enhances employee productivity.
That’s why it is essential to understand the various forms of communication and master your communication skills.
In the workplace, there are four types of communication styles:
Out of the different forms of communication styles, verbal communication is the most common one. There are two forms of verbal communication: written and oral communication. Many consider written communication as a distinct type of communication.
There are four types of verbal communication:
Intrapersonal: Conversations that we may have with ourselves, where we are both the sender and recipient of a message.
Interpersonal: One-on-one conversation with another person.
Small group communication: Conversations involving more than two people, such as team meetings.
Public communication: This involves an individual addressing a large gathering of people, such as at a press conference or a conference.
There are various channels of relaying verbal communication -- you can do it in person, through a phone call, video conferencing, or even a presentation. Strong verbal communication is the secret to maintaining excellent relationships in the workplace. When employers use effective verbal communication while conversing with the employees, they feel secure and increase job satisfaction.
Employees with strong verbal communication skills are more confident about sharing new ideas and expressing opinions, creating a direct impact in the workplace.
Needless to say, out of the different forms of communication, verbal communication is an essential one. Here’s how you can develop the skill:
Unless we are willing to listen, we cannot really communicate with anyone. Ensure that the speaker has your full attention, maintains eye contact with the speaker, and makes sure not to get distracted by everything else around you. Try not to think of how you will respond to the speaker or interrupt the speaker in the middle.
Among the 4 types of communication styles, nonverbal communication accounts for 93 percent of workplace communication. Put merely, nonverbal communication refers to communication using nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, and smiles.
Body language plays a critical role in workplace communication. That’s why strong nonverbal communication is regarded as a desirable skill. Used correctly, nonverbal communication can boost employee morale and create a positive environment at work. Similarly, having a hint of smile, occasionally nodding, and maintaining steady eye contact are other ways of communicating nonverbally. For instance, you are in a team meeting and notice that a team member is speaking too fast and stammering due to performance anxiety. You can nod gently to can support such a colleague and encourage him or her to speak confidently.
Nonverbal communication is one of the types of communication to make yourself heard. If you want to sharpen your nonverbal communication skill, here is what you should do:
The next one on our list of different forms of communication is written communication. This style uses written words to communicate a message. There are various types of written communication, such as emails, memos, letters, brochures, and blogs.
Regardless of your industry, strong written communication skills are desirable. It helps in building trust and integrity in the workplace. When face to face communication is not possible, written communication is the best way to convey your message. If you want to master this type of communication, here’s what you can consider doing:
The final one on our list of 4 types of communication style is visual communication. This style utilizes various graphics for effectively relaying the information to the audience. Examples of graphics include photographs, infographics, charts, and social media creatives.
As a form of communication, visual communication is beneficial. Given our shrinking attention span, visual communication provides a distraction-proof medium for the content. It also makes it easier for the audience to retain the content. Using appropriate verbal cues also enhances the comprehension ability of the audience.
Here’s what you can do to master this style of communication:
Based on workplace conversations, communication style can be further sub-divided.
The different forms of communication are:
Formal communication: This type of communication is from the top management to various departments and employees within the organization. There is a pre-determined structure or procedure to carry out such communication. Townhall meetings or annual general meetings of your company are good examples of formal communication. The most significant advantage of formal communication is the orderly flow of information. It also provides absolute clarity about the responsibilities of various stakeholders.
Here’s how you can strengthen this type of communication:
Informal communication: This type of communication doesn’t follow any established structure. It is more focused on interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Catching up on your travel plans or exchanging notes about the latest book you read are all examples of informal communication.
This type of communication skill can help to foster a sense of belongingness for all and boost employee morale. When everyone at a workplace can freely converse with each other, it also improves productivity. Here’s what you can you do to sharpen this form of communication:
Mastering different forms of communication styles can help you perform better at the workplace. Here’s how you can use them to be successful:
The importance of honing your communication skills cannot be stressed enough if you want to be a successful professional. Working on various types of communication skills can help you to maintain relationships in the workplace. How well you communicate also has a direct impact on your performance, efficiency, and overall reputation.
That’s why understanding the forms of communication and taking the necessary steps to develop them is non-negotiable -- especially given that we are living through a pandemic that has made communication with everyone more critical than ever.