Change Begins with Your Words

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Communication is an essential skill in the work place. It harmonizes a team, aligns leadership, and activates accountability to influence change. With every conversation, we should focus on choosing words and listening carefully. I do this while maintaining my "pay-it-forward" personal style of authenticity. But it's easy during busy times or when working in a routine, to lose sight of essential communication skills.

Here are some ways to improve day-to-day communication, including change communication, at work:

  • Choose the ideal channel for your message: should the information be shared over the phone, through email, via text, in an instant message, or covered on the next team call?
  • Remove meaningless words: "um", "ah", "just", and "like." These distracting phrases negatively impact your credibility and weaken the validity of your message.
  • Use data to support your assertions: without data, your statement may be perceived as opinion, and not a factual statement.
  • Show your idea with video, photos, and infographics. Images tend to be more memorable than words.
  • Edit your email as if each word costs $1000. Type your thoughts and then delete unimportant words. Attention spans are short, and less is more.
  • Be mindful of your tone and attitude on calls and in meetings. What you say and how you choose to say it has tremendous impact. Listen intently, do not interrupt, keep your comments concise, and use collaborative phrases.

When communicating broad changes, consider the possible reaction of your audience. Craft your message to include why changes are occurring, how it will impact the individuals on your team, and how they can help create potential solution

What ways do you use effective communication techniques to influence positive change in your workplace? Add a comment to share your insights below.