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Six rules for office communication

Our constant connection to social media has caused a cultural change in the way we communicate, which can sometimes lead to embarrassing situations at work. Journalist, author and faculty member at The School of Life John-Paul Flintoff, writing for the Evening Standard, recently presented six ways to take back control of communication at the office.

1 Set your own rules – Establish your own parameters for the way you communicate. Knowing how you want to do it, things will be much harder.

2 Let others know – Flintoff says his policy with emails is to keep them short and clear. He lets people know when a reply isn’t necessary and assumes the best if he doesn’t hear back. He suggests letting people know about your policy to avoid miscommunication and to have a contingency for difficult situations.

3 Avoid self-pity – Feeling sorry for yourself narrows your connection with your colleagues and gets in the way of meaningful communication. Focus on others instead.

4 Don’t gossip – It’s never a good idea to air your feelings about a client or colleague on social media because it will always find its way back. If you have anything to say, find a constructive way of getting your point across in person.

5 Listen up – Make an effort to really listen to people rather than planning what you’re going to say next. If you lose concentration, own up to it and apologise.

6 Be honest – If things do get awkward for whatever reason, say something. Odds are you’re both feeling it and getting it off your chest clears the air.

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