When we are asked to do more with less, we often feel stressed that we don’t have enough resources to accomplish our job duties. In such an environment, it’s easy for tensions to rise and communication to break down. “The three Ts” are simple and effective strategies to enhance our workplace relationships and minimize misunderstandings with our coworkers.
- Transparency. The adage “say what you mean and mean what you say” is the basic foundation for effective communication. If something is on your mind, make the decision either to talk about it with the individual or individuals involved, or to let it go. Hidden agendas are barriers to good communication. Avoid making promises you can’t keep to “get someone off your back.” If you can’t do something, say so. If you agree to do something, do it.
- Timing. Whenever possible, pick a calm time to discuss challenging, delicate, or personal issues with a supervisor or coworker. These types of concerns require deliberate attention from your listener. When you are rushed, have other things on your mind, or react in the heat of the moment, it is easy to say the wrong things or forget to say the right things.
- Tolerance. Organizations are made up of human beings. We are thinking and feeling creatures, not insensate robots. Being “professional” is often confused with lacking emotions. It’s important to remember that the people you work with and for have emotions just like you do. When you allow others time to express their thoughts and feelings, this can often be a prelude to a highly productive conversation.
Make an effort to practice the “three T’s.” They can help you achieve a more effective communication style and, ultimately, strengthen the quality of your relationships.