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How To Improve Communication Skills In The Workplace

On Hero TV today, Sydney Jacques. She’s going to be teaching us how to improve communication in the workplace. Hey everybody its Sydney Jacques and I’m so excited today we’re talking about one of my favorite topics, communication. Would you be surprised to know I have the nickname and engineer with a personality? yes how some people refer to me and I think it’s because I love to communicate. Not all engineers love that so much. I want to share with you today a model that we’ve developed and it’s called, living large. Ok. Before I dive into it and tell you what the acronym stands for I want to give you the philosophy behind it. The philosophy is that life can be better than it is right now. I really believe that you can be larger not just in size, but you can be larger in your personality, in your outreach, in your influence, than you are right now. So that’s the goal is that by living large and taking these communication steps and implementing one at a time that it will truly be a benefit to your life. Probably both at work and at home. So our acronym, LIVING LARGE. So we’re going to start with the L. The L stands for, listen. Probably no big surprise right? But how good are we truly at listening? I don’t think for most of us that would probably had any training in it you probably don’t practice it but yet I think it’s one of the greatest skills that we really need to be conscious about developing and being more intentional about it. So when I decided I wanted to start my business I hired a business coach to help me because I had a degree in engineering, I didn’t have any classes in business. I knew nothing about accounting so I hired a business coach to help me set up my business plan do some real basics accounting and just get me started off on my first year. So he taught me a lot of different things but the thing that he taught me that has really made the most impact as he told me, “Sydney if you’re going to be successful in your business you need to learn to be 100% present” Think about how often were truly a hundred percent present. I always have things going on in the back of my mind. Sometimes we’re thinking, I already know the answer to that just hurry up and finish it or this is how I’m going to respond to that. That was his challenge to me. You need to learn to be 100% present, Now I want you to realize that was over 20 years ago when he taught me that. I didn’t have an iPad, an iPod, that cell phone that we spend so much time doing this on, I didn’t have one of those. I didn’t even have my laptop computer. But yet that was his biggest piece of advice to me. So when I talk about the first part of the communication model is to really learn how to listen, I want you to think, are you really a hundred percent present? is that something you could work on? I want to tell you it’s something that traditionally have done better with my clients that I have with my family and I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that. But I’m in the phone a lot of my car and a lot of times I noticed that I would be on the phone and I’d walk into my house and my kids would be there when I’d walked through the door and I’d be coming like, Shh! I’m on the phone! You probably done that before. And one day I pulled up to my house and I just though,t wait a minute inside that door those are my most important people in the whole wide world. Why should I be shushing them when it’s the first time that I’m seeing them after school?I should be a hundred percent present with them. So I started a new habit that every time when I Drive home and when I’m on the phone, I finished my conversation I put my phone inside my purse. I zip up my purse and then when I walked through my door frame of my house that’s a trigger to me. When I walked through that door frame that’s a trigger for me to remember on the other side, these are my people. Those are the most important people in the world I want to be a hundred percent present for them. My kids, my husband, they’ll call me out if I get on my phone later they’ll say and they’re trying to talk to me, “hey mom 100 percent present”. So it’s a good language you can share with people so that you can all be on the same page and I’ll have that same goal to be hundred percent present. I now use the trigger of the doorframe anytime not just at my house but when I’m going into a meeting. I think on the other side of that door, there’s somebody I want to add value to. I want to be a hundred percent present when I get there so that I can be the best I can and help them the best I can and add value. So that’s the L we really need to listen. The A stands for asking questions.

This is another thing that we probably never really had any training on. So I’m going to share a couple of my favorites with you. The first one is to just ask permission to have a conversation. Okay, a lot of times I’ll call somebody and just say, you know they’ll answer their phone and I’ll say, “hey this is Sydney do you have a minute?” and they’ll say, “no I’m in the middle of a meeting” and I think to myself, well why did you answer your phone? But I guess they thought I was important because they saw me on their caller ID. But we need to get in the habit of asking permission to have a conversation. If I was at the office and I wanted to have a conversation with Scott, I would walk to his door and say Scott I wanted to talk to you about this project that we have in Logan. It’s going to take about 15 minutes is this a good time to talk? So if I give him the information so that he knows what it is I want to talk about, how long it’s going to take, then that gives him the option to say yes this is a good time or to say you know what this really doesn’t work let’s reschedule this and then I can be present and I can be attentive for this conversation. So ask permission to have a conversations whether you’re in person or even if you’re calling on the phone. I always ask on the phone, is this a good time? and tell them about how long you think it will take and give them permission to come to the conversation fully engaged and not distracted. Another thing that we can do to ask questions is to not be afraid to ask questions to get to know people at a different connection level than we typically do at work. ask people about their families, ask people where they grew up, ask them about their hobby, learn to ask questions that will help you to learn more and connect at a deeper level. Wo we have the L for listen, the A for ask, the R is for respond. Now I want you to think about this because response is what I hope that you will do instead of react. Now I used to teach the seven Habits of Highly Effective People through the Covey Leadership Center. And I remember one of the models that Dr. Covey developed as he taught about the thing that makes us different as humans from animals is that, we have the ability to think and to respond instead of just react out of instinct. So the question is, are you using that ability? do you let your temper flare and you just react to things? or do you stop and think and say, how do I really want to respond to this? how do I want to respond to this communication? Again, our communication comes in many forms and fashions could be texts, could be email. Maybe the best response is to pick up the phone and have a conversation or to say, you know what instead of continuing this back and forth email let’s just sit down and have a meeting so that we can talk about this. So how are you going to respond to somebody? Do it thoughtfully. Make sure it’s not a reaction and not a knee-jerk reaction that could be negative but respond in a proper way. So L listen, A ask, R respond. G stands for the generations. Many of us are working in cultures and environments where we have three to four, maybe even five different generations all working in the workforce. So we have a whole training course that dives deep into this but for this quick video I just want to share a couple of my thoughts.One, communication is at the heart and soul of having positive generation interactions. We have to be willing to do the things I’m talking about to truly open our ears and listen and ask questions and do that withholding judgment. Just because a different generation does things differently it doesn’t mean they’re wrong and you’re right. It just means they’re different and that’s okay. Because if you’re going to build a football team you don’t want everybody to be the same, you don’t want all quarterbacks on your team. We want to build a team where we have different strengths and that’s what the multiple generations can bring to us. The other most important thing I think is that we need to remove the labels. I know because I’ve been so many training sessions I know the Millennials are so tired of being told or at least hearing that they’re entitled, that they’re lazy.

They’re just different. And so as they come to the table they bring technology skills, they bring great benefits, we just have to learn how to work with them different. One of my friends who runs a sales team of almost all Millennials said you know what, they are different. They like to check their social media during the day they, work differently, but you know what? I can also know that they will respond to me at night which is different than it used to be. If I have a question, if I have a problem, I don’t hesitate to contact them at night. They’re okay with that. The E is for manage emotions. Each of us has to figure out there’s going to be times that it’s harder, times that it’s easier, but how are we going to manage our emotions? one of the best ways to do this is to have some sort of a morning routine where you start out knowing that you’re in charge of your emotions and that you have control over how you meet the day. I love where I live. I, we are surrounded by beautiful mountains and one of my favorite things is my picture window in my living room which straight out to a beautiful mountain called Mt Timpanogos. And when I get up in the morning, every single morning I get up and I walk to my living room and I pull up to my blinds and I say, ah it’s gonna be a great day! And I just look out to the mountains and I start with an attitude of gratitude knowing that I am grateful, that I’m alive, that I live in a beautiful world, that I have a great work to do that day. And as I do that and I start my day that way it makes it much easier to manage the emotions throughout the day.

Take my challenge to go out there and live large. Do that by listening, asking questions, responding properly, learning how to communicate through generations and manage your emotions. Thanks so much for watching Hero TV today. Anything we can do to improve communication in the workplace is a big big deal. So thanks Sydney for everything that you’ve shared today. Be sure to check out all of Sydney’s information in the description below also be sure to subscribe. We have new episodes every single day. And remember to live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero you