How to Communicate with Your Coworkers Like a Pro

Effective communication with your coworkers improves engagement, productivity, and collaboration. It also reduces conflict and increases employee morale.

Effectively communicating with your coworkers helps the company operate efficiently. Playing your part helps the business move forward.

Follow these guidelines to professionally communicate with your coworkers.

Use the Preferred Communication Method

Prioritize communicating with your coworkers in the manner they like best.

  • Common methods include in person, over the phone, and through email or online chat.
  • Using your coworker’s chosen method typically results in a faster response.
  • Remember that an email or instant message may not communicate your desired tone.
  • You might want to communicate a detailed message through email.
  • You should have a difficult conversation face-to-face.

Tailor Your Message to the Recipient

Understand your audience to effectively share information.

  • You may need to explain basic concepts related to your field that your coworker might not understand.
  • Avoid using jargon your coworker likely would not use or understand.

Be Direct

Keep your messages concise and to the point.

  • Your coworker has limited time and attention to devote to what you are saying.
  • Provide simple explanations and suggestions to increase understanding.
  • Share how the information is relevant to the recipient.
  • Limit emails to two paragraphs.
  • Use subheadings and bullet points to break down important information.

Add Visuals

Include visuals when emailing detailed instructions of how to complete a task.

  • Share the instructions as a reference point.
  • Add images, videos, screenshots, or other visuals to help with comprehension.
  • Consider including a meme to lighten the message, if appropriate.

Actively Listen

Show you are interested in what your coworkers have to say.

  • Maintain eye contact with the speaker.
  • Nod, gesture, and use facial expressions.
  • Ask questions to gain additional information.
  • Paraphrase to check your understanding of what is said.
  • Wait until the speaker is finished before you reply.

Remain Open-Minded

Pay attention to your coworkers’ ideas, input, and perspectives.

  • See issues from angles you may not have thought of.
  • Learn about topics you might be unfamiliar with.
  • Promote feelings of respect and value.
  • Increase your professional development and growth.

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