Insight banner


This week in college the evening communications lecture focused on leadership and the importance of effective communications in the work place.

All of the students in my class work full time while attending college at night and have like us all, plenty of experience of both good and bad communications in the work place.

Solid communication can be broken down into intrapersonal skills i.e. the knowledge on oneself and why we behave the way we do and interpersonal skills i.e. how we communicate with each other.

In the workplace solid and effective communication relies totally on peoples interpersonal skills and it is so vital to all of our businesses and work practices it is important that we fine tune it if and where necessary.

Our communications lecturer has 30+ years of experience advising both large organisations and individuals on the subject of effective communication. For her in essence it is simple - never ever forget the importance of treating people with respect.

So right now do me a favour – take a moment and think of a time in your life when someone (anyone) made you feel awful about yourself, made you feel completely worthless and useless, by their words, their actions or their deeds? Everyone has been made feel like this at some stage and the vital lesson to take from it is again simple yet insightful.

Knowing how truly awful being made feel worthless is, we should make it our personal responsibility to never ever inflict such a feeling on any other human being.

Next, now think of a time when you were made to feel the polar opposite, when you were made feel good about yourself, empowered, confident and capable, ready to take on any challenge. Again the lesson is a simple one, if you have been made to feel like this it is then your human responsibility to ensure you make someone else feel the same too.

Of course communication is a two way street with feedback just as important as the message.

Many people focus on what the other party is or isn’t doing when communication breaks down. They place the blame on them yet doing this means you cease to take full responsibility for the outcome of the interaction.

Instead you need to become acutely aware of what you are doing or saying and the impact that it is having on the interaction. Take ownership of your communication and ask yourself are your behaviours contributing to the breakdown that may be occurring?

Remember, always keep an open mind. How you view things is your reality, based on your perception of events. Do not prejudge people or their input. Pay attention to the words and phrases that you use to minimise the possibility of misunderstandings or misinterpretations occurring. Practice how you listen and pay attention to the other person.

People who feel good about themselves produce good results. These days we are saturated by the tenets of wellbeing being paraded in the work place yet ask ourselves this, how many of us are really applying these recommendations to our daily working lives?

I will leave you with a quote:

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”

Articles by Lorraine Bolger