Whenever collaboration is involved, there is the possibility of conflict and dissention. This type of drama in the workplace is so common that television studios make sitcoms dedicated to it. But this isn't a laughing matter – personality conflicts and other types of issues can detract from productivity and generally harm the company. The key to reducing and diffusing such tensions is proper communication. Improving communication in the workplace should be every employee's goal because it benefits every employee.
Communication in the workplace
Better communication can solve many issues. When you are running behind on a project, do not be afraid to send an email or make a phone call. Give a timeline update to those who are involved in the project. If you are expecting a report from someone by a certain day and it doesn't come, consider the fact that something unavoidable came up, give them a courtesy call to follow up. The "courtesy" part is important – aggression in general is not well received by anyone, and anger often inspires aggressive and combative language that you want to avoid when you are dealing with your co-workers. Remember that positive and consistent communication is often helpful when working to reduce drama in the workplace.
Thanks to technological advances, there are more ways to communicate than ever, including text messages, email, video conferencing, and face-to-face chat sessions. Each has its place and importance, and knowing when to make the phone call or send the email is part of ideal communication. This also means knowing when to stop the back-and-forth email chain, and pick up the phone or walk over to someone's desk. Email doesn't allow tone and intent to come through as clearly as an in-person or over-the-phone conversation.
The three basic communications skills to keep in mind are courtesy, consistency and contact. If you want to prevent drama in the workplace, you should be courteous in all your communications, consistent in your actions, and finally make personal contact. Even if you work exclusively online as a telecommuter, do not hesitate to request a Skype session or phone call. Having personal connections with those you work can help diffuse unnecessary drama.
Drama in the workplace does not have to be the norm. When individuals work to improve their communication skills, drama can be easily avoided. Being consistent, courteous and personable can really improve communication in the workplace. One way to build these skills is through an online Master of Business Administration program, where students gain not only a better understanding of business and management, but also experience using technology as a main source of communication.
Learn more about the TAMUCC online MBA program.
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