Most people don’t go to work to socialize and make friends; they go to work to finish specific tasks and make money. However, people who do well in their careers don’t only focus on making money; they consider work to be a way of life. And a life always includes other people. So communicating well with others should be a priority for everyone, especially if you want to advance in your career.
Advantages of Communicating Well
If you think about it, you can come up with many ways in which communication can benefit you in the workplace. Communicating well helps to get the job done faster. It keeps the workplace going like a well-oiled machine. You can solve problems with irascible colleagues or employees if you understand how to communicate with them.
Changing How You Think About Communication
Unless you enjoy communicating with other people, you’re not going to make it a priority. Unless you see how communicating with others helps to make the workplace a more pleasant working environment, you’re not going to want to invest your time and energy into it. So you have to stop thinking of communication as a bitter pill that you need to swallow and start thinking of it as something enjoyable.
Communication Can Actually Be Fun
It can actually be fun to communicate with people at work, just as it’s fun to communicate with your friends. In fact, the people you work with can also become your friends. You may not get as close to them as you are to your other friends but you can be more than just strangers who have to work in the same office.
Being a Good Listener
Taking the time to develop friendly relations with people at work is a good step forward. Try asking them about what’s going on with them, health-wise. Or ask them something about their families. Most people love to talk about themselves. And if listening to someone for a few minutes can help to improve their day and enhance your working relationship, why not do it?
Praise Works Better Than Criticism
Also keep in mind that praise works better than criticism in changing someone’s behavior. If you praise someone for doing something, they’re likely to keep doing it. If you criticize them, you’re not necessarily putting an end to that behavior; you might just be putting their back up.
Follow the Bad News with the Good News
Just because criticism doesn’t work as well as praise doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t criticize at all. Just try to do it gently. According to Daniel Pink, author of When, it’s actually better to start with the bad news and end with the good news if you want that person to walk away with a positive feeling. So start with criticism (gently-phrased) and end with praise.