💭 What is Positive Communication?
Positive communication, or communicating with positive intentionality, adaptability, and empathic listening, contributes to:
- Higher employee engagement
- Removes communication barriers
- Increases employee confidence and drive
- Influences better management decisions
- Contributes to a healthier working environment
- Improves employee-employer trust.
Altogether, these elements influence employee productivity, turnover, per-employee ROI, positive word of mouth about your firm, and ultimately improves the bottom line.
In other words, it literally pays to be kind.
💡 What Does This Look Like in Practice?
When I was training to become a swim teacher for my first job, I learned that the average person needs five positive affirmations for every criticism they receive. During my eight years of teaching, I used this rule to foster feelings of mutual respect and empathy among my swim students.
Regardless of my own frustration or impatience, I chose to be empathic and selected my words with intention. In turn, my students began to do the same amongst themselves.
Though I no longer teach and now work in the ‘business’ world, I’ve found my golden rule still stands true: kindness should not be the exception, but the rule when speaking to someone you have a responsibility for. Intentionally incorporating positive elements into your communication strategy will transform your workplace into a culture of positive communication by leaps and bounds.
While my experiences with kids differs vastly from a manager handling responsible, adult employees – I believe there are lessons to be learned that translate to any superior/subordinate relationship. Particularly if you’re a manager looking to foster a culture of respect, open communication, and empathy – it’s important to remember that your actions can and will influence the people who work under you.
👔 How can you Influence a Better Work Culture?
So with that in mind, here are some easy steps you can take to start influencing those around you to communicate in a positive way:
- Listen actively and with empathy. When you listen to coworkers, are you thinking about what you’re going to say next? Are you trying your best to understand how they’re feeling? Are you judging them or worrying about being judged? Remember to focus on the other person’s words, and respond appropriately.
- Adapt to the person. Some people respond better to kindness, some to humour, others to praise. Try each tactic on your employees and learn what works better for getting through to them and increasing engagement. Whichever methods your try, keep them positive.
- Choose your words intentionally. Unfortunately you can’t take words back once they’re said, and you can’t control which words people will pay attention to. Make sure that your words reflect how you feel, how the other person might be feeling, and double check they actually respond to what the other person said.
- Leave people feeling at ease. No one likes to feel like a burden, especially when they need to approach their boss. Giving someone your full, undivided attention, inflicting enthusiasm in your voice, and incorporating assurances into your conversation can go such a long way to keep people feel at ease. The next time they need to approach you, they’ll remember how you reacted.
How do you actively influence positive communication in your workplace?
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💭 What is Positive Communication? Positive communication, or communicating with positive intentionality, adaptability, and empathic listening, contributes to: Higher employee engagement Removes communication barriers Increases