#WorkTrends Recap: Meaningful Communication’s Impact on Happiness and Morale

Meaningful communication has a dramatic impact on happiness and morale in all facets of life.

On this week’s #WorkTrends podcast and Twitter chat, our guest Mike Lindstrom discussed some powerful communication tips and tools to help you better understand the impact of your words on others.

We covered why engaging people around you on a deeper level actually triggers happiness in the brain and creates a strong rapport.

Here are a few key tips Mike shared:

  • There’s a difference between hearing someone and listening to someone
  • Listening to someone is being present
  • Put down the phone and technology to be truly engaged
  • Ask people about their “story” and don’t be afraid to go deep in conversations

Missed the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here:

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next week, on Sept 7, host Meghan M. Biro will be joined by Patrick Morin to discuss clashing cultures.

The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

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#WorkTrends Preview: Meaningful Communication’s Impact on Happiness and Morale

Meaningful communication has a dramatic impact on happiness and morale in all facets of life. Join us for this #WorkTrends podcast and Twitter chat as our guest Mike Lindstrom discusses some powerful communication tips and tools to help you better understand the impact of your words on others.

We will also cover why engaging people around you on a deeper level actually triggers happiness in the brain and creates a strong rapport.

Get out of your own way and join us to discuss this very important topic with Host Meghan M. Biro and Guest Mike Lindstrom on 8/31 at 1pm ET.

Meaningful Communication’s Impact on Happiness and Morale

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, Aug 31 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro and guest Mike Lindstrom as they discuss why meaningful communication matters.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, Aug 31 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1. Why does meaningful communication matter in business? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2. What simple techniques help spark engaging conversations? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3. How does meaningful communication help people succeed?  #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. We invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our awesome community any time. See you there!

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Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Our verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1.  Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3. Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.


Image Credit:

Is Communication Important For Employee Productivity? (Infographic)

When we talk about business communication, we want to achieve the following three results:

No. 1: Improving liaisons with your customers. When you communicate well within your organization, there are higher chances that you project yourself well to your customers, listen to their problems well and provide them with an apt solution.

No. 2: Educating all employees about your goals. The time you are well versed with what you need to do, it’s time that you share your work and discuss it with other people in your organization. This will provide you with a clear picture about their thought processes and you might just get rich insights from them.

No. 3: Growth. The first two results serve organizational goals. And when you know your customers well and have complete knowledge about your employees’ mindset, that is when you grow.

Here’s an infographic that provides more detail:

What communication should mean

About the Author: Arundhuti Roy is a professional business blogger and is working as a content marketer @ MyOperator.

photo credit: A Meeting Apart: leaders from An Event Apart, A Book Apart, and A List Apart meet to plan the future via photopin (license)

Texting: 4 Etiquette Tips To Keep It Professional

The era of the social technologies encroaches on nearly every aspect of our lives, redefining business communication and relationships. Modern ways of contacting people, such as text messaging, poses new questions as for when and how to use these technologies. Getting familiar with a business texting etiquette will help you find a safe space within the texting culture.

Know whom to text

Since texting people is perceived as a more personal form of communication, not everyone who happens to know you professionally may be happy to see your name popping up in their pocket every now and then. Keeping that in mind, avoid texting people with whom you have not established a relationship that is more personal than an average business acquaintance. Also, while text messaging might sometimes suit work colleagues, it is not acceptable for an employee to text his or her employer unless asked. The general rule is that the person higher in the business hierarchy decides to text you and you should not message them without their doing so first or asking you explicitly to do this.

Pay attention to form and your self-image

While in face-to-face conversations your looks and tone of voice affect the way you are perceived by the person you’re taking to, in text messaging the only means for conveying your self-image is the form of your message. In order to present yourself as a professional, make sure you use correct language and punctuation. Keep your messages formal and polite. Although typing “Yours sincerely” at the end might be slightly over the top, do remember to include your full name at least in the first message you send to a given person. It goes without saying that using text slang, emoticons and acronyms is out of the question at least until your intuition tells you to level down the formal style a little.

Text the right content

Just like with emails or phone calls, you should text your business contacts for professional communication only. Brief notifications, confirmations or reports are some of the acceptable types of messages to send. An important rule to bear in mind is never to use texting for conveying bad news or important decisions as this kind of information requires showing sensitivity and respect. These attitudes are best expressed via the more personal ways to communicate such as a call or a face-to-face. Call your contact whenever you have to cancel a meeting, and talk to your boss or client in person if you want to resign from your job or end a business cooperation. Finally, courtesy texting such as congratulations, wishes or thanks, is less appropriate than phone calls or proper emails.

Show respect

The world of business communication is rife with opportunities for committing a faux pas, so do your best to avoid it when you can actually prepare your next step. There is nothing more annoying and disrespectful than not replying others’ text messages or doing it too late. If someone decides to text you, it’s usually because they need a brief and urgent reply. So make sure you check your phone a few times per day and respond timely to all the messages. If you do not know the number texting you, ask your colleagues or simply check it on the company’s contact list before asking the sender about his or her identity directly. In that case, be polite but do not disclose any important information before you know whom you are talking to. To show respect for your business colleagues’ time and privacy, keep your messages brief, text them only when it is necessary and when there is absolutely no other way of contacting them on time. Do not interrupt them after their working hours or during their meetings. Treat this practice as a last resort, when emailing or calling them is impossible.

Concluding, business texting should be used sparingly and only for brief and important messages. Do not text bad news, pay attention to the form of your messages and show your addressee respect. Treat texting as a last resort and opt for phone calls, emails or direct communication whenever possible.

(About the Author: Sophie Jones works for SavvySME, a community marketplace, which helps Australian small and medium enterprises grow their business. She is interested in social media marketing and new technologies.)

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