Effective communication creates a healthy work environment and demonstrates leadership. Open communication provides a clear understanding, professionalism, and productivity. Appropriate communication during training and presentations is especially necessary.  Proactive communication styles include open meetings and emails. Emails provide direct channels of communication without disrupting productivity. Face to face contact is a preferred method for many people who feel more heard in a one on one setting where they can make direct eye contact.

In order to maintain a professional setting, particular aspects of communication should be emphasized in order for others to be avoided. A receptive atmosphere promotes diplomacy while avoiding a tense environment. Tension can cause employees to shut down and suppress their productivity as a result. Here are a few ways to ensure you are communicating effectively in your workplace.

Some Light Humor

Humor can be an effective form of communication to release tension, especially when involving written communication such as emails. However, a level of seriousness is essential to maintaining a professional atmosphere.  Always maintain a healthy balance when it comes to humor in the workplace; remain tasteful and appropriate at all times.

Be Open to Feedback

Encouraging feedback is another way to facilitate diplomacy, and will also require listening, to ensure that the person feels their feedback is significant.  Your employees want to know that their opinions and concerns are being heard and acknowledged. A good tactic to practice effective listening is to remember three important points the speaker has mentioned and repeat those back to them. An important element of good communication is making the individual or group feel safe and comfortable in the interaction.

Always be Approachable

As an effective leader, you should always be approachable. The tone of which you address others, and your body language, can often be a representation of how approachable you are. Awareness of tone can make all the difference in the understanding, or misunderstanding of a message, even if using the same words.  It’s essential for your employees to feel comfortable when coming to you regarding issues or concerns.

Consideration of the recipient can help guide the speaker towards which styles to use at the moment. Just as important as it is to be aware of their own gestures and facial expressions, it is also important to be aware of other people’s expressions. This awareness could almost be considered another form of listening – with the body – and can help the speaker better understand if their message is coming across properly.