How many times have you left a meeting at work feeling like your voice was not really heard? Or been afraid to ask for clarification because you are unsure about the relationship dynamic and don’t want to be viewed as incompetent or inattentive?

Relationships between employers and employees, or even just between coworkers are bound to have tension and occasional bumps in the road. But how much easier would life be if we all understood how the other person functions on a basic level so we could tailor our communication to make things as easy as possible? It would be awesome. And it is totally possible.

Fear of confrontation and misunderstandings can keep people from having important conversations, as does the myth that emotions have no bearing on the workplace. Emotions come into play in all human interaction, and if we all learn to understand those emotions and channel them appropriately, both efficiency and happiness will increase.

A few years ago, everyone on the planet was reading a certain little book called The Five Love Languages (you can buy this book from Amazon for as little as $3.00 used). The book promised to make relationships and communication better and fuller by enhancing communication. The core principles involved understanding your personality and what you needed out of interactions with the people in your life so that you could effectively communicate, and each person would know how best to show the other that they loved and understood each other. This is a great thing, and it is likely that many marriages were saved by this self-help concept.

The goal of the book, The Five Love Languages, was to make sure partners were speaking the same language so they could fully understand each other and foster a better relationship. This same principle can be applied in the workplace. Understanding your colleagues and employees better will result in easier and more effective communication—–and you don’t even have to take a quiz to get there! (Although, seriously, if you haven’t, go take the Love Language quiz. You will learn so much.)

Here at Heermann Financial, we believe that five basic principles utilize the concepts we’ve learned from the book to enhance office communication. They are:

  • Tone of Voice

Modulate. That is all.

  • Precise Speech

Say what you mean in very clear terms.

  • Active Listening

Don’t just nod and smile actually HEAR what they are saying

  • Empathy

Walk a mile in their shoes. (Figuratively. Use your own shoes for actual walking.)

  • Honesty

Again, say what you mean and mean what you say! And most importantly, don’t forget to follow through.

These principles sound simple enough, but are not always easy to put into practice. A great place to start is by practicing on yourself. Think about what you want from interactions in the workplace, and then use what you know to begin changing the way you interact with people. You won’t be sorry!

Contact me to start implementing these principles today!