Developing positivity, patience, clarity and empathy

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Developing skills: Empathy

The workplace is about teamwork. So in order to work effectively, it’s essential to be open to the opinions of others. Try to understand their positions on any given issue – even if you are sure you are right!

It’s about “give and take”.​

Trying to understand or clarify another person’s intention is often a good way to improve workplace communication skills. For example:​

  • ‘Okay, so what I understood you to say is …’ (and repeat what they just said)​
  • ‘I just want to understand …’ (then say what you think they said or meant)​
  • ‘Okay, so you mean …’​

If you feel comfortable doing so, make a point to ask questions (or “debrief” with a trusted person afterwards).​

​Developing skills: Patience

  • If you rush what you say, others may find it difficult to understand you.​
  • Similarly, if you’re impatient for others to get to the point, you are more likely to lose focus, and not hear what they are saying.​
  • For good communication, it’s important to be methodical. Consider points one at a time, both when talking and listening.​
  • For communication you need to have patience and let others have their ‘turn’ at speaking.​

Developing skills: Clarity

  • Before heading into a meeting, write down exactly what you need to say. Make notes in point form, which you can refer to if needed. This will help ensure that you stay focused and not miss anything important.​
  • The same applies if you are providing direction to others on tasks to be carried out. ​
  • Clarity is vital in ensuring others understand what they are to do.

Developing skills: Positivity

  • Maintaining a positive attitude at work is not always easy, however anger and bitterness are to be avoided. Not only are they negative emotions, they can contribute to misunderstandings and conflicts at work.​
  • Try to view problems and difficulties as challenges. Look at ways of overcoming them, rather than letting them become major, ongoing burdens.​
  • If you are feeling pressured at work, speak to your manager or another team member to see if there might be ways to help alleviate the problems.

End of Module Questions

  • What are some good ways to improve your workplace communication skills?​
  • Why is it important to let other people have a ‘turn’ at speaking?​
  • How do you prepare for an important meeting or conversation to ensure you get your message across?

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