Why is effective communication important in the work environment?

Stress is inherent within the workplace, and, faced with frustration or anxiety, people often lose their ability to reason and problem solve.

How does one retain self-control and self-confidence during times of increasing pressure and chronic stress?

Through effective communication.

Effective communication allows individuals to communicate in positive and constructive ways, thereby avoiding additional stressors. The main purpose of communication is to draw people to you, overcome challenges, and defuse tension (Mogeson & Humphrey, 2004). Good communication skills are not innate, but they are skills that can be learned and developed.

Good communicators know how to recognize and effectively use the nonverbal cues that make up 93% of communication. These communication processes include eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, posture, gesture and touch. Effective communication enables individuals to meet challenges and navigate conflict through active listening and efficient use of emotional and nonverbal communication (Mesmer-Magnus & DeChurch, 2001).

Communication is important in managing job stress and improving interpersonal relationships (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005). Communication training aims to break bad communication habits that add to stress at work, and help create positive role models. Through intelligent communication, individuals improve:

Self-awareness – The ability to recognize your actions and their impact on others.
Self-management – The ability to manage your behavior and adapt to changing circumstances.
Social awareness – The ability to sense, understand, and react to other’s needs.
Relationship management – The ability to inspire, influence, and connect to others and manage conflict.

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 6.

Mesmer-Magnus, J., DeChurch, L. A. (2001) Information sharing and team performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 2.

Morgesen, F. P., & Humphrey, S. (2004). Social relationships matter in job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91 (6), 1321-1339.

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