5 Workplace Communication Skills That Will Make You a Better Colleague

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Workplace communication skills are crucial for developing good peer-to-peer relationships at work. Organizations that foster good communication as part of their culture have more motivated and productive employees and a lower turnover rate. 


In a recent survey on the most sought-after soft skills in employees, employers rated communication skills at the top.  

Source: LinkedIn


Good communication skills become even more critical as you move up the hierarchy of an organization. Business leaders need to have excellent workplace communication skills for effective and efficient communication while leading their teams.


Communication skills are also key for entrepreneurs planning to start an online business because they need to communicate with different audiences like investors, clients, and employees. 


Let's look at five strategies that would make you a more effective communicator at your workplace.


1. Be a Good Listener

You can't be a good communicator without being a good listener. Active listening is one of the most crucial aspects of communication. Listening involves comprehending spoken or written communication and the emotions driving the conversation.


Active listening starts with maintaining eye contact with the speaker. It is the first sign that you care about what the speaker is saying. Ensure you give sufficient soft signals to the speaker that show you are interested in what they are saying.


Start by switching off your mobile devices [or at least putting them on silent mode]. Lean forward a bit towards the speaker [but maintain personal space]. A gentle smile is a signal of engagement and acts as an encouragement for the speaker to continue. Ask questions to seek clarification without interrupting the speaker. Let them finish the point they are making before asking your question. 



Source: visually


At the end of the conversation, summarize the main points and then voice your opinion. These are some critical steps in developing your active listening skills. 


2.Clarity & Brevity 


Focus on clarity and brevity in all your communication, both verbal and written. If you take too long to get to the point, the listener will lose interest and tune out. 

Simplify what you're trying to say and make it easy for people to comprehend what you're saying. Avoid using acronyms and buzz words. When in doubt, pretend you're talking to someone unfamiliar with your business.


Pro Tip: For both verbal and written communication, outline the points you want to make and rehearse what you're going to say for each topic.


3. Be More Effective in Texts & Emails


Text messaging is rapidly replacing calls as the primary mode of communication. Mastering the art of communicating by text and email is key to becoming an effective communicator


Here are some pointers to make your communication clear, effective, and efficient: 

  • Consider your target audience: Always remember the audience you're addressing, the rules of communicating with your peers are different from those for your clients. It's best to avoid colloquial slang and using emojis when communicating with your superiors. 
  • Don't use all capital letters: Messages in all caps are akin to shouting at the recipient and are inappropriate in all communication. 
  • Proofread before submitting: Always proofread your texts and emails before pressing the send button. Check for grammar and spelling issues and auto-correct bloopers. Make it a habit to read and double-check your work before sending it. 
  • Use the appropriate medium: Text is a casual medium used for informal communication. My thumb rule is a text for routine issues, email for formal communication, and calls for critical issues. 
  • Etiquette always applies: Always note that using polite language is the best choice. This removes miscommunication and guarantees that the message is heard. 

If you're communicating by text and have 2-3 points to discuss, don't send a "wall of text" single message. Send one message per point, plus one for the introduction. 


4. Mind Your Non-Verbal Communication


Your body language is nonverbal communication. Facial expressions, body movements, posture, and hand gestures reinforce your verbal communication. Nonverbal communication affects your oral communication in three ways:

  1. Repetition: It reinforces your verbal communication
  2. Contradiction: If your nonverbal cues contradict your verbal message, it will create tension and a lack of trust. Imagine someone saying yes while moving their head to say no.
  3. Reinforcement: Your body language can reinforce your verbal message. Here the speaker nods their head, reaffirming the verbal yes. Clapping your hands while praising someone is another example of reinforcing verbal communication.

According to Salesforce's report on interpersonal contact, nonverbal communication accounts for 93% of all communication. Body language is just as important as speaking skills to a professional communicator, and it's a tool you can use to your advantage in your conversation.


5. Keep Your Emotions at Bay


When it comes to communication, it's important not to let your feelings get the best of you. Learn to relax when speaking to a person who makes you nervous. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly to relax your body and mind. Ask a question to give yourself some time to gain your composure and keep your feelings in check. 


Using pauses can be a robust coping mechanism for remaining calm. While some may assume that taking a break is a drawback, it can help you handle the conversation more effectively.




Good communication skills in the workplace can reinforce your functional skills and make you productive and dependable. Communication skills are essential in building positive team dynamics and building loyal relationships with your peers. 


Do you struggle with communication? Is your message often lost in translation?

The Human Communication Workshop can help you develop empathy, reduce conflict & improve your overall communication skills. 


About the Author

Jimmy Rodriguez

Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade e-commerce solution. He's dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.


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