Here is a great article about Workplace Communication by Harriet Meyerson, the founder of the Confidence Center. It was found at: http://top7business.com/?id=1016.
Improving your communication skills will enable you to establish better working relationships. Poor workplace communication skills will have negative effects on your business relationships and may result in decreased productivity. These 7 keys will help you unlock the door to successful communication not only at work, but also in all your relationships.
- Personal contact is important. People relate to one another better when they can meet in person and read each other’s body language, so they can feel the energy the connection creates. If personal contact is not possible, the next best way to connect is by talking on the telephone.
- Develop a network. No one achieves success alone. Make an effort to become friends with people in different departments within your company, meet new people in your community, and look for experiences or interests you have in common.
- Always be courteous in your communications with others. Courtesy lets people know that you care. The words “Thank You” show that you appreciate a person’s efforts. Try saying, “would you please…” instead of just, “Please…” You will sound less dogmatic.
- Be consistent and clear in your workplace communications. Consistency builds trust. Asking, “Did I explain this clearly?” will assure that people understood what you said.
- Compromise decreases the tension associated with conflict. Ask, “What is best for the company?” so that co-workers will not take the conflict personally.
- You cannot hold a person’s interest if you have nothing interesting to say. Here are some of ways you can learn to be an interesting communicator. Read your hometown paper daily. Read industry literature so you can know what is going on in your industry. Rehearse telling a few short personal stories about your interesting experiences.
- Listen to what others are saying and show interest in the conversation. Listening demonstrates respect and admiration. Make your conversation like a game of tennis and keep the ball going back and forth
As you can see, all of these tips can also be followed not only in person, but also while using instant messaging. Remember to get to the point, always be polite and clear, and be sure to listen (or read, in IM’s case) to what your co-worker or IM partner has to say. These are quite tips and should be remembered not matter how you are communicating in the workplace and beyond.