10 Tips for Careful Communication

Many mishaps and misunderstanding in the office stem from poor communication. This leads to a destruction of value as it diverts the efforts of the organization away from value added tasks to focus on containing and rectifying the situation.

Communication is all about the transfer of information, and ensuring people have the right information to make the best decisions possible. We are all brokers of information. Our responsibility is to make sure we make the best decisions with the information available, and be open to the fact that someone might have information that could affect our decision.

Here are a few tips for careful communications

  1. Avoid “Reply all”- Too often people hit the “Reply All” button. Most often it is not warranted. Before using the “Reply all” ask yourself “who really needs to be included?”, and limit your response to those individuals.
  2. Only include those that need to be included- Many times emails are sent including anyone and everyone, most of which have no desire or need to be included. Be respectful of people’s time and only include them on emails that require their attention. Some emails do need to be sent as information. A simple technique to help would be, only include those that are part of the decision making or required to “action” in the “to:”, and all others included for information be included in the “cc:”.
  3. Follow up a conversation with a confirmation email – Remembering that some discussions are best left out of emails, there is nothing wrong with sending a follow up email to clarify the take away points from a discussion. Something along the lines of “As per our conversation…… “, will provide an opportunity for others to clarify if there were any misinterpretations or understandings before things get started.
  4. Whenever Possible avoid email- It is always better to walk over to the cubicle next door or pick up the phone to discuss a situation rather than sending an email. Email is far overused method of communication that can easily spiral out of control. It is amazing how simply an email can be taken out of context whether it be; improper wording or capitalization. By talking directly, you have the ability to clarify or diffuse a situation before it snowballs.
  5. Make a clear distinction between fact and opinion- Many times opinion can be misrepresented as fact which can cause more confusion lead to issues being blown out of proportion. An opinion which is asserted or perceived to be presented as fact will cause the receiver to become defensive and less open to communication. Discussions take on a completely different tones when based on fact versus opinion. A fact based discussion can be perceived as confrontational and an “I am right you are wrong” tone. Conversely an opinion based discussion is subjective and based on an accumulation of facts which is more easily diffused as everyone has a right to their opinion. By clearly distinguishing fact and opinion or objective and subjective observations, the receiver is more likely to be open to discussion and less defensive resulting in better communication.
  6. When receiving communication always listen- Before dismissing or jumping to conclusions. Listen to the entire the message and don’t get caught up in the way the message is delivered. Focus on understanding the message. Before assuming negatively, politely ask for clarification and help understanding. Many times the message received is not what was intended to be sent.
  7. Avoid communicating when emotional– Emotions such: as anger, frustration, hurt, impair judgement and can result in sending a message that should not have been sent. When in this situation, draft your message and step away. Take some time to clear you head and regain composure. It is better to refrain than to regret. Always maintain composure when communicating, especially when sending an email. If sending an email on a sensitive topic which might stimulate or has stimulated an emotional response, always wait until you regain your composure and objectivity before hitting send. Once it is sent, it is out there with little chance of getting it back. Even though many email programs have a recall function, the reliability is very low.
  8. Remember some topics are best left out of email- Although email is a great tool for keeping track of conversations some content is best left out of email. As emails are easily misinterpreted, caution must be exercised. Email can be subject to litigation discovery. Many litigation battles have been won due to misconstrued emails. Before sending an email, ask yourself if this is something that should not be open to discovery.
  9. KISS Rule- Keep it Short and Simple. Always make sure that your communications are direct and to the point. Clarity is the best cure for miscommunication.
  10. Most importantly ALWAYS exhibit Humility. Always remember that communicating is an exchange of information. When dealing with other people, remember we are all information brokers and some have information that others don’t. By understanding that we or someone else might not have all the information to make an informed decision, we are better able to be open minded to the exchange of information. This will lead to better communications and better decision making.

Workplace Safety – Tips for Working Safely in a Factory Setting

Communication can be your best friend or your worst enemy. If it’s your best friend in the workplace, then it’ll definitely improve your overall workplace culture.

Also, solid organizational communication will help in eliminating barriers, resolving problems and improving workplace safety.

However, your communication skills tend to fluctuate, no matter how many years you have been talking, writing or mentoring other people.

It is true that if you’ve concise and clear communication skills, then you’re more likely to be promoted to leadership positions, But these skills that got you there won’t keep you there forever.

Thus, you’ve to keep on improving yourself on a regular basis to secure your place.

Stay safe at work by learning how to communicate clearly and more effectively. After all, no one likes someone who uses a high-sounding words when writing safety memos.

Refrain from sending unclear safety messages so you can build a workplace that is free of confusing safety communication.

When it comes to confusing communication at the workplace, there are some mistakes that are made by safety professionals.

Here is a List of 5 Silly Mistakes That Make Your Workplace Communication Quite Confusing

Stick to the Message: When you start talking or writing about one safety process and then all of a sudden jump to another, then you make the things complicated and confusing.

For example, while talking about the need to wear safety gloves, you decided to talk about company’s infrastructure and how you’re going to increase the manpower.

Well, you should stick to one point otherwise, people will stop listening and all your time and effort will be wasted.

Using High-Sounding Words: You can show off your vocabulary of high-sounding words in school or college, but not in the business world as people will tune out.

Using ‘sedulous’ instead of ‘hard-working’ or ‘loquacious’ in place of ‘talkative’ is not a good idea. After all, how are the employees supposed to know what to do when they don’t even know the meaning of your words?

Right?

Extra Long Safety Essays: Well, in this super-fast world, no one needs that much information and no one has time to read those long list of Do’s and Don’ts. You have to realize that your role is to provide safety insight and not content for the sake of content.

Thus, forget putting up notices around the office when you are hosting an upcoming safety training seminar.

Instead, request the attendance of your workers for safety events, training, and seminars in person. Because a face-to-face invitation is much more difficult to avoid than a “lost” email, “misplaced” document or “torn” notice.

And yes, don’t expect that your workers can read your mind. So, tell them exactly what you want, why is it important, and what do you expect from them in a few but clear words.

Not Asking for What You Want Directly: This is a blunder and is committed by most of the safety professionals. Because they often underestimate the power of just asking directly.

They depend on throwing hints and expecting people to guess what they want them to do.

So, start on living by the mantra, “if you don’t ask for it, you’ll not get it”. Also, giving people information is not enough, you have to ask for action.

Vague or No Deadlines: Clear communication about safe workplace solutions or any other topic is all about being specific.

Thus, be specific about what you want from your workers and when. How high, how much, how far?

How, where, and with whom? Don’t be hazy about all this as laziness is not the hallmark of a good communicator.

Moreover, providing them with information is not enough, provide them with the insights, which they need to keep themselves safe at the workplace.

Summing up

Effective communication is a continual process, therefore it’s an integral part of every company. So, keep on improving your safety communication skills to ensure high quality safety leadership.Because safety communication is all about getting people to feel that the procedure is crucial and then making the necessary changes in their behavior.

Tips For Simplifying Communication for the Hearing Impaired in the Workplace

Meetings, conversations with co-workers, presentations – the workday involve a lot of communication and demand much energy to keep operations running at work.

It can be extremely challenging for a hearing impaired professional to keep up with organisational processes and tasks and perform their duties.

Here is some practical advice and tips on how to help hearing impaired individuals function better at work.

Disclosing your hearing impairment to colleagues

No matter how tempting it is to keep your disability a secret or how embarrassing it is speak about it, it is important that your colleagues know about your hearing impairment in order to make both communication and work easier in the workplace.

Here’s what you can do to let people know the specifics.

  • Do not go ahead with “I am deaf” statement. Instead, explain the nature of your particular condition while making statements like ‘I have trouble hearing people on the telephone or hearing voices in noisy or crowded backgrounds’.
  • Advise your colleagues on how best to communicate with you. For instance, you can tell them to be a bit loud, speak more slowly, use appropriate visual clues wherever possible and to be a reasonable distance from you so as to make sure that their face is well lit.
  • Ask them to rephrase rather than repeat things you have difficulty with, and write down critical information such as dates, times, addresses, telephone numbers, peoples’ names, and amounts of money.
  • In case you have one side more affected than the other, tell co-workers which is your good side.
  • If you use any assistive listening device, let people know whether it is hearing aids or a speech process you wear. Also, explain how your specialised device work.

Tips for people in the workplace with normal hearing

Your organisation may include employees and co-workers who have never worked with a hearing impaired colleague before. Not only is it necessary that all of your colleges are aware of your medical condition but it is required that they know how to deal with the hearing impaired in the workplace and help improve their efficiency.

Some key suggestions include:

  • Use your body language and facial expressions effectively. Avoid being straight-faced while talking or listening.
  • Keep your speech clear and do not exaggerate your lip and mouth movements as it may hinder speech-reading for the affected person.
  • Incorporate open-ended questions in your conversions besides ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to determine if the hearing impaired understood you properly.
  • Talk at a normal pace or slower than usual if required.
  • Speak with the affected person to know how best to adjust your speed and volume of your speech.
  • Pause from time to time while you communicate with a hearing-impaired person to allow them to catch up and actively understand.

CONCLUSION

It’s natural for some people with affected hearing to keep their disability a secret. However, keeping your disability untreated an undisclosed would only worsen the situation and raise more problems in the future.

Follow the general suggestions and guidelines mentioned above to ensure the hearing impaired can improve their productivity and efficiency at work.