Workplace Communication: Keep It Real

People are intrinsically built to disguise their emotions; it is human nature. However, this clouds communication and can create hindrances in the workplace. In order to be an effective communicator, it is advantageous to grab the shovel and dig out what is really going on. Doing so will give you the opportunity to find the source of the problem and work towards resolution.

Somewhere, at this very moment, thousands of employees are sitting at their desks thinking about how desperately they want to quit their jobs, even though they may not even be able to define the problem they are having. How can a resolution be reached in this type of situation?

Good employees are lost every day simply because of lack of communication. The truth is that it has to begin within ourselves. First, we must find that root feeling that is bothering us. It could be feelings of neglect, a lack of appreciation or disappointment. Identifying this root emotion is essential.

The next step is to communicate this feeling explicitly. Being honest and upfront is the most effective way to communicate your feelings successfully. However, this can be tricky and it will take practice and trust in order to let your guard down and say what is really going on. Yet, without this key point, the problem is unlikely to ever be fully resolved.

Below is a simple technique that you can put to use immediately. Instead of describing feelings as judgments (e.g. “I feel like you’re not listening to me,” “I feel like you’re too controlling”), rephrase your statements to accurately describe your feelings and nothing more (e.g. “I feel neglected,” “I feel fearful”). This simple technique practiced in the workplace (and in personal settings) can keep us from masking our feelings, placing blame and essentially avoiding to-the-point statements that clearly communicate the root issue.

Successful communication is a multi-faceted endeavor, in the workplace and beyond. It requires the participation of every member of the organization. One weak link, whether it be a disingenuous supervisor or a pent up employee, and the whole system can collapse. This is why it is important for everyone to do his or her part. When it comes to expressing emotion, be real. The results can help create a more open and forthcoming workplace.