4 Key Components that Impact Communication and Tone at Work

Young businessman in effective communication concept

One of the most important ingredients in any relationship is communication. This even extends into our business relationships with our supervisors, teammates, and customers. So much time and effort is saved when you are able to communicate effectively, and this, combined with appropriate tone, can go a long way towards strengthening your relationships. We’ll delve into four key components that impact communication and tone at work.

1. Miscommunication – Understanding the roots of miscommunication and building awareness in your communication style can make you an expert communicator! Most instances of miscommunication can be traced back to one of the following:

  • Avoiding tough conversations because they are uncomfortable.
  • Assuming others understand what you mean and want.
  • Not being clear with colleagues about your expectations because it feels too hard and yet blaming them for not delivering.

Ultimately, great communication and tone at work starts with you! Initiating those uncomfortable conversations increases trust and being vulnerable in your communication with others makes you a great communicator. Sometimes being clear and direct may feel unkind, but the opposite is true. Withholding a clear message is unkind and leaves the other person feeling confused.

Keep in mind that your words have consequences. You must be mindful of how you speak about others (and yourself!). Don’t get in the habit of saying negative things about others or yourself. Be aware of following through; don’t say one thing and do another as this will damage the trust others have for you and impact good communication and tone at work. Remember, your words are sacred, so treat them accordingly.

2. Psychology – These are psychological tips you can use to help you become a more effective communicator.

  • The Magic Number 7 says that most adults can store between 5 and 9 (an average of 7) items in their short-term memory. Be aware of this as you communicate with your team. Work to condense your message into pieces that are manageable or none of what you’ve said will be remembered.
  • Primary and Recency Effect is the tendency for information presented at the beginning and end of a learning episode to be retained better than information presented in the middle. When you’re sharing information with your team, make it a point to put the most important bullets at the beginning or end of the session to help those things to stick.
  • Communicating with Intention means to remember the basics! What information is most important? Who is the appropriate audience? Which channel (e.g. in-person, phone call, text, email, etc.) should the communication be delivered through?

3. Feedback – There are best practices when it comes to delivering and receiving feedback, which all impact communication and tone at work.

  • Subjective vs Objective Observations can make a big impact in the effectiveness and clarity of feedback. Objective observations are based on fact and do not include any guesswork. Whenever possible, deliver feedback by referencing specific events or behaviors.
  • Stages of Feedback Acceptance outlines three stages of receiving feedback.
    • Resistor – Resists feedback at all costs because it may challenge a person’s ego or produce feelings of awkwardness.
    • Receiver – Acknowledges the value of feedback and is open to receiving it but does not proactively go looking for it.
    • Requestor – Truly sees feedback as a gift and requests it whenever he or she can. Does not overact or become emotional to positive or negative comments, but rather reflects and applies learning to promote growth.
  • Use the SBI Model to deliver comprehensive and constructive feedback.
    • Situation – Use specific details to describe what happened and where.
    • Behavior – Describe observable behaviors without using judgement or opinion.
    • Impact – Describe the result that occurred due to the observed behaviors.

4. Mindfulness – Practicing mindfulness can improve communication and tone at work. When in doubt, refer to the 4 Agreements.

  • Be Impeccable with Your Word
    • Speak with integrity.
    • Say only what you mean.
    • Avoid using your word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
    • Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally
    • Nothing others do is because of you.
    • What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
    • When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  • Don’t Make Assumptions
    • Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
    • Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.
    • With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  • Always Do Your Best
    • Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
    • Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

Referring to and utilizing these 4 key components that impact communication and tone at work will benefit you greatly in your relationships with others.

Presented by:

Alisha and Michael Leytem

About Ellis

Since 1984, Ellis Partners in Management Solutions has specialized exclusively in helping our multifamily clients measure and improve the customer experience by teaming with customers to develop professional skills and behaviors in each team member. We evaluate customer service and performance of onsite leasing professionals through comprehensive mystery shopping reports, our multiple touchpoint resident survey program, and training. Our turn-key integrated customer experience program, backed by outstanding customer service, sophisticated technology, and ethical business practices, has made Ellis one of the multifamily industry’s most respected and sought-after providers of training and consulting services.