Communication in the workplace is a tricky task. You must practice certain forms of etiquette while accomplishing the tasks at hand. It becomes even more difficult when more than two people are involved in the communication process. However, by following certain steps, you can improve three-way communication on the job.
Things You'll Need
- Email addresses of business associates
- File folder reserved for communications storage
Establish parameters for the communication. Make sure all parties involved know that all forms of communication should be distributed to everyone involved in a task so as to keep everyone in the loop. Creating deadlines for responses can also help streamline the communication process.
Put everything in writing. The best way to keep up with communication between parties is to make sure you have a written copy of what transpires. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use email for correspondence, with each party being copied on all emails. That way, you have a digital copy of everything that is communicated.
Take notes. If you cannot communicate via email due to preferences of the people involved or the need for immediate feedback, take notes on who says what at what point in the conversation. You do not need to transcribe every word of the conversation, but do take minutes on the meeting and email them to all parties involved. This gives everyone a clear record of what was discussed and decided, and gives you a formal record to fall back on.
Save everything. Store all of your emails and notes for future reference in a special folder on your computer. By keeping track of this information, you will have quick and easy access to the conversation if you or a co-worker need clarification.
Follow up--always. If some part of a correspondence is unclear, do not be afraid to ask questions. Share your questions with all parties involved, as it could help other parties by answering questions they might have, or spur other questions in the process, helping everyone better understand the subject at hand.
Tips & Warnings
- Maintain your files even after the necessary communication is over. They could be helpful in other workplace interactions. Moreover, consider going over the communications after the fact to reflect on what worked and what didn't, allowing you to learn for future interactions.
- Check and re-check your correspondence before clicking "Send." Without non-verbal cues to accompany the words, your emails come without context, and could therefore be easily misinterpreted.
- Photo Credit computer image by blaine stiger from Fotolia.com
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