5 tips to communicate better at work

Maria Angelica O. Reyes

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5 tips to communicate better at work
Not getting the right message across? Here are a few tips on how to handle yourself at work

I always enjoy my work – the deadlines. The program management. The brainstorming and meetings. The community application. 

I always feel the sense of contentment that I share something, and continuously share myself, in my chosen career every day. (READ: Georgina Wilson to fresh grads: Set yourselves apart, give it your all)

People ask, “what is growth and productivity without challenges?” They say those things help us improve. I do agree, but these conflicts can sometimes be dragging and misleading. 

As I charge every catastrophe at work to my experience, I realize that communication plays a make or break role in these situations. 

Here are some nuggets of wisdom and practices which other yuppies can consider in preventing and solving office miscommunications.   

1. Black and white. 

In short, be bold. 

As much as possible, use your email in all your communication. It can help you review and trace all those requests and replies. It can provide you with the right “history” to protect yourself in the event of an unforeseen misunderstanding. Being bold or transparent could help keep you and your team on record.

Moreover, an official email is a better form of documentation than a call or text, depending on what you do. 

In emailing about major developments in a project, or clarifying an important point, cc your boss. 

2. Follow up verbal agreements with documentation. 

Although verbal communication is the fastest way to get a reply, it is very important to be clever about when to use it as a channel.

At a meeting, for example, make notes to document what was spoken about so people can be accountable for their statements. 

If the major decisions are made verbally, make sure to provide a print of email documentation of that decision if you are personally involved. It’s better if the stakeholders acknowledge it, too. 

Choose your words carefully. Even if you need quick reply, try not to appear overbearing. 

3. Take notes. 

Just like in school, your notes in countless ways can remind you about everything: your accomplishments, pending things to do, your vision for the future. (READ: Dingdong Dantes to fresh grads: Enjoy life, but have direction)

During school days, we’re used to having notebooks to keep track of our subjects. Now that we are working in the real world, the learning and assignments continue on. Whether you’re using a smartphone, app, or actual pen and paper, have a space to jot down reminders, ideas, and tasks. 

4. On wrestling with the pig

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” It’s a beautiful quote by George Bernard Shaw. 

There will be times that your adversity quotient will be tested by the people at your workplace.

If a colleague is misbehaving and sending you a long, angry email, copying your boss, don’t react right away. Review your notes and previous emails. With your records, you should be able to piece together what happened and explain yourself with concrete and objective examples. 

Remember that you want to spend your time wisely. Time being spent arguing or feeling bad keeps you away from being productive. Busy ka sa trabaho. Wala ka na dapat time makipag-away. (You’re busy working. There’s no time to fight.) Be gentle on yourself.

Be open to your boss. And if you have shortcomings, think of ways on how to move forward and improve.

5. Compassion. 

As much as you may want to lash out, perhaps at a colleague, be compassionate about the situation. At the end of the day, you are teammates. He might have shortcomings, but so do you. You have one common goal: to make your organization better. Correct him or her but do not forget to move forward. Offer your help and listen. Give feedback – again, be objective – but don’t attack. Ask for feedback, too. 

Compassion doesn’t solve all the challenges at work, but it might improve the morale, at least. When people feel like you care, and aren’t out there to attack, that may do its part to lessen tension from conflicts that may occur later on. – Rappler.com

Maria Angelica O. Reyes (Andel) is a proud Batangenya who works at the Development Group of BPI Globe BanKO. In 2011, she was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines at Malacanang Palace after graduating from De La Salle Lipa. She loves artistic activities, current events, and environmental issues.

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