Communication in the Workplace: First Steps

You're getting ready for a meeting. Somehow, you always seem to freeze up, have a hard time talking and don't get your point across. As a woman who has been there, I've learned a lot things about dealing with ineffective communication and nervousness in the workplace. Here are a few things you can do that will help:

  1. What is the information?
    • Tired and true information gathering: Who - What - When - Where - Why - How
  2. Who needs the information?
  3. How do they like to get it?
    • Do they respond better when you talk in stories or in bullet points?
  4. What are my non-verbals?
    • Am I speaking too softly to sound like I know what I'm talking about or too aggressively and people put up their barriers?
    • Do I speak with my head up and shoulders back or am I so nervous that I crunch up?
    • Am I looking at people eye-to-eye or avoiding their gaze?
  5. Who am I focusing on?
    • Am I thinking about how well I'm doing and whether they like it, or me, fearing rejection - OR -
    • Am I excited to have and convey information that others need/want
      • Your focus can make the difference between shrinking away or speaking with confidence

Going into your meeting armed with the right information and a confident attitude will make the difference between whether you are credible or should be ignored. Don't let it be the latter.