“Women in the workplace are….
The way we communicate with others – our family, friends or colleagues – can be affected by a multitude of factors. One of them is our perspective that again is affected by factors coming from our past experiences, our prejudices, our feelings, and our environment. Some of these factors will be discussed in greater detail in this blog post. Take a look!
The problem with prejudices is when they start to influence how or to whom we communicate. To get an idea of how this could be happening in your workplace, consider how you might complete phrases like “Women in the workplace are…..”, or “Disabled people in the workplace are…..” When we categorize people like this, we eliminate their individuality.
If you are communicating to a person through a perceived prejudice or stereotype, at the very least you are greatly limiting the chances of your communication being successful or producing the desired result. At the most, you are alienating or insulting someone with whom you are trying to build a working relationship. Your goal should be to see each person as an individual that is separate from any preconceived notions you might have about them.
For this area of influence there are actually two ways in which your feelings can influence your communication with another person. The first simply refers to the way that you feel on a given day; if you feel well, you’ll communicate in one way and if you feel ill you’ll communicate in another.
The second aspect related to feelings refers to how you feel about a specific person. When you genuinely like someone, the way you communicate is going to show it. Unfortunately, the same can be said for when you don’t like someone.
Another area of influence on your communication is your environment. All of us communicate differently in different environments. This is simple enough to observe in everyday life. Do you speak to your colleagues the same way that you do to your friends? Do you talk to strangers with more or less formality than people you know well? Do you talk to your subordinates the same way when your own boss is there as you do when she is not there? As you go through your workday, notice how where you are, what is going on and who else is present may be impacting the way that you communicate.
Recognizing how the environment might be affecting others you communicate with is a skill that can come in handy for you, particularly when you perceive that the environment is having a negative impact on your ability to communicate effectively with someone. This skill will help you to perceive why someone might be communicating in the way that they are. It will also give you a factor that you can alter in order to make the person more comfortable or to establish a level of formality that you feel is important in a particular situation.
To read more about communication skills, types of communication and more view “Effective Communication Skills” written by MTD Training.