There’s a lot to be said for writing being the key competency of the future hybrid workplace. But there’s much more to excellent communication. The problem? Many leaders don’t know this, and future ones are too rarely taught it.
What You Should Do
Listening sounds cozy, doesn’t it? It is anything but! Because if you want to listen actively, i.e., get the best out of the conversation, you should really master the following skills:
- Pay attention.
- Show that you’re present.
- Give relevant feedback.
- Don’t judge.
Discovered competencies you’re missing? These explain how you can remedy the situation:
The Listening LeaderFT Press Read Summary
Just ListenAMACOM Read Summary
Shut Up and Listen!HarperCollins Leadership Read Summary
Why Should the Boss Listen to You?Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers Read Summary
Always remember: Even if you listen and don’t say or write something, your body will tell a whole story. It’s worth paying attention – on both sides of a communication situation.
Body Language in BusinessPalgrave Macmillan
Asking questions helps you open doors, solve problems and break down barriers. Questions give you the opportunity to reflect, and – on top – asking encourages personal growth. Without the right questions, you will not solve any problems – and you always have plenty of the latter. Time to master asking different types of questions:
Poor communication contributes to dysfunctional relationships, misunderstandings and frustration. And breakdowns in communication affect your personal and professional lives much more than you imagine. The good news: You can break bad habits with self-awareness, better habits and new problem-solving skills.
Nonviolent CommunicationPuddledancer Press Read Summary
Conversation TransformationMcGraw-Hill Education Read Summary
Breaking the Silence HabitBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
Collaborating with the EnemyBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
The Fearless OrganizationWiley Read Summary
4. Practice Writing and Speaking
The famous journalist and social critic H.L. Mencken once wrote, “Before a man speaks, it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.” This cynical maxim may be true for many – but certainly not for those who study the following abstracts. First, the elevator pitch:
The Eloquent LeaderPeter Andrei
The Truth About the New Rules of Business WritingFT Press Read Summary
Why Does Writing Matter in Remote Work?Tim Casasola Read Summary
The Founder’s Guide to Writing WellFirst Round Read Summary
The Language of SuccessAMACOM Read Summary
How to Take Smart NotesCreateSpace Read Summary
How to Speak How to ListenTouchstone Read Summary
The Lost Art of the Great SpeechAMACOM Read Summary
Body Language in BusinessPalgrave Macmillan Read Summary
How to Talk to AnyoneMcGraw-Hill Education Read Summary
You Were Born to SpeakRichard Newman Read Summary
Sadly, rhetoric and logic are no longer part of basic education. Want to express yourself well nonetheless? To help you reach that goal, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker’s erudite guide below explains – with helpful examples – what makes writing coherent, compelling and clear. He offers his personal lists of terms and expressions to watch for – those that he thinks the traditional language police are too fussy about and those that he’s convinced writers must never misuse.
The Sense of StyleViking
Know what gobbledygook is? Words that mean nothing and expressions that obscure meaning. Basically, it’s the stuff that too many presentations, job interviews and networking events are made of. Here’s how to take up the cudgel against jargon, “business speak” and perplexing political phrasemaking.
7. KISS (Keep it Short and Simple) Is Good…
Here are the mechanics of organizing content and writing clearly and correctly. But here’s also why good communication focuses on its audience, why simple words and sentences are more effective, and why great communicators are also great listeners:
8. …But Not Everything
Some things are not easy, simple, or to express in a few words. In some cases, therefore, it is worth deliberately not to abbreviate. But, of course, there are summaries regarding this procedure.
Leading Through LanguageWiley Read Summary
Giving Voice to ValuesYale University Press Read Summary
Making Up Your Own MindPrinceton UP Read Summary
Tinker Dabble Doodle TryBantam Dell Books Read Summary
How to Nurture Crazy Ideas That Save the WorldThe Future Organization Read Summary
Authentic ConversationsBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
9. Be Selective About Media
To emoji, or not to emoji, that is the question. Fostering appropriate digital etiquette is a critical workplace skill in a world where remote employment is increasingly becoming a norm. In the digital workplace, email and textual communication lack the subtleties and nuances that face-to-face communications boast, and remote workers must compensate to keep long-distance professional relationships functioning. Here’s some digital ( 😉 ) advice:
10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital WorkplaceLifehacker Read Summary
The Essentials of Business EtiquetteMcGraw-Hill Education Read Summary
Improve Your Virtual MeetingsJohn Arthur Books Read Summary
What Not to Do
So far, so good. Actually, all of the above titles do tell you what you should not say (any longer) or communicate with particular enthusiasm. But so that there are no misunderstandings:
1. Don’t Blabber
Interrupting, talking too much, bragging and seeming distracted are common communication flaws. Here is how to avoid them:
2. Don’t Say Anything at All
Where there are many braggarts and other dudes with too much self-confidence, there are usually even more who no longer dare to disagree. After all, in the workplace we also have to deal with power and relationships of dependency that are not always easy to see through – which encourages many to “rather say nothing,” instead of saying something “wrong.” But: This is exactly why the puffed-up win. To change that, here are a few tips and techniques to help you overcome initial shyness, ease your way into good conversations and, thereby enhance your business and social life.
How to Start a Conversation and Make FriendsFireside Read Summary
How to Have a Difficult ConversationPsyche Read Summary
Creating Introvert-Friendly WorkplacesBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
InvisiblesPortfolio Read Summary
3. Don’t Fall for “One-Size-Fits-All”
In a globalized business world, consider the special informational needs of non-native speakers and tailor your language accordingly.