Professional Interactions Do Not Have to be Stressful
Many professionals are skillful communicators. They speak up for themselves; diffuse tense situations and move on grudge-free. They put the mission of the organization ahead of their personal feelings. They also focus their communications toward the accomplishment of organizational goals. These professionals engage in a communication style that builds connections.
They are able to demonstrate genuine interest in their colleagues. Without being nosy, intrusive or overbearing, these professionals make their colleagues feel as if they are interested in them and their success. They greet others using a greeting that is appropriate to the level of the relationship. They may extend a handshake or touch depending on the degree of formality.
In general, they show interest by maintaining eye contact, standing or sitting in a relaxed body posture, and smiling. They avoid being distracted by activities or conversations around them. They listen attentively, nodding their heads and providing verbal cues for the speaker to continue. They ask questions or restate what they have heard for clarification.
They also know when and how to end the conversation.
Sometimes communication is not cordial. It may be interpreted as a professional or personal threat. Effective communicators prepare themselves for a contentious meeting or discussion. If possible, they plan to have it in a neutral environment that is away from distractions. They make mental or written notes regarding the 2-3 main points that need to be discussed.
They remain open-minded and listen without judgment. They avoid evaluating what is being said so that they may remain fully attentive. They ask questions and restate what was heard to clarify meaning.
Above all, they seek to understand and put the organization’s goals first.
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