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Words are often misconstrued or misunderstood in the workplace. So getting your idea across depends on how clear the subject matter is, as well as the way you say it. Even certain tones or bad phrasing can make an entire workplace conversation spin off-subject. Therefore, building communication skills are among a list of many actions you should focus on for productive work interactions. Having regular, meaningful interactions with your coworkers or boss is a small step in making them more receptive for advice, or innovative thinking.
Personal connections prove you have the emotional capacity to handle your feelings, while still finding and solving issues. Unfortunately, in some businesses, not all employees have a chance to have their voices heard. Therefore, you will find, or even make your best opportunities to connect with others in a way that makes them see you as a valuable asset in the company.
1) Active Listening to Personally Connect
Listening more is most likely not the approach you’d expect for getting your opinion heard. While some people will be overpowering in the workplace, most want what you do-to be heard. So, by setting this very basic example, you can make the person feel like their opinion is validated, and they will be more interested in hearing yours.
In Psychology Today, the use of the word ‘you’ was studied. It produces defensive attitudes which is exactly the opposite of what you want out of a workplace conversation. When someone begins to feel offended, they become angry or simply shut down completely, which causes them to stop listening. Before trying to have your ideas heard, you should try to warm up your listener. Do this by responding to their points to get them into a receptive mood.
2) Open Body Language Shows Confidence and Comfort
Body language is important in any conversation, especially to personally connect and have your opinion heard in the workplace.
Negative Body Language
- Fidgeting. Fidgeting with pens, or not being able to stay still.
- Wandering Eyes. Constantly checking the time or your phone makes you appear disinterested.
- Crossed Arms. This makes you seem closed off or uncomfortable in the conversation.
In summation, Building a wall around yourself is a safe way to stay professional, but can work against you. Workplaces need those who know how to be open, friendly, and productive without losing their professionalism. This takes a combination of respectful conversation practices, and eagerness to communicate.
Positive Body Language
- Eye Contact. This shows you’re present for the conversation, and are focused on the speaker completely.
- Nodding. Nodding should not be overdone, but in moderation it will encourage others to continue speaking.
- Open Expressions. Gauge the conversation and ensure your facial expression matches the tone.
To conclude, having your opinion heard can often come down to how serious you are about being heard. In addition, effective body language can show your passion for a subject. This increases the power of your words.
3) Embrace Emotion with a Calm Disposition and Personal Connection in Mind
Emotions get the best of all of us, and even if you are not talking about very sensitive material, there is a chance an argument will be sparked. On the other hand, evoking emotions in conversation is what leads to solid personal connections. Therefore, the proper emotional response shows you are invested in the subject matter. So, consider the disposition of the other person, and keep your energy calming to avoid any unintentional disputes.
Timing is important. Always gauge the other person’s mood before attempting a conversation on your ideas, a problem you’re experiencing, or especially how their work is going. Be mindful of when busy season is at your job. Do not go to a boss with new ideas when they seem overworked.
Approach them during a hectic time and they will dismiss or forget all the information you’ve provided. Therefore, the best time to approach your boss is after a job well done, or after a problem is solved. During times like these, they will be looking for how to do even better work next time.
4) Communicate With Clear Intentions to be Heard
Do not beat around the bush in conversations. This nervous energy is easily seen by the other party, and will make the entire situation more anxious for you. Think of a rollercoaster when it is climbing. The longer it takes to reach the top, or the moment before you drop, the more time nerves will have to accumulate.
You may seem like you have secret intentions, and prepares the person you are conversing with for an idea they may not like. Therefore, communicate with clear intentions and get straight to the point to get your great idea heard.
But Avoid Generalizations
Use specific examples to make ideas more feasible to others. Generalizations make statements seem unprepared or lacking a solid idea. So by expressing specific details creates support for your idea or a suggestion of change.
Conversations should vary depending on the person. You cannot use the same personal connection methods among everyone in your workplace. Work towards making individual relationships. You will know who stands with your opinion, or if anyone feels unjustly silenced.
5) Mindfully Prepare Your Ideas
Talking points are a must, so always have your thoughts gathered before beginning the conversation. If presenting your opinion in a meeting, write what you are doing to say down. Stress can cause your mind to go blank, thereby increasing stress and making the whole ordeal worse for everyone.
Words are easily mixed up. Something can mean one thing to you, but turn into something else entirely to the listener. Shouting may get you heard, but it does not effectively get a point across. Raising your voice makes the listener only hear aggression, not intelligence. Speaking quietly with intention can catch someone’s attention. When confidence is exuded, it is clear to onlookers. Mindfully prepare your ideas and use personal connection strategies to get your opinion heard in the workplace.
Take account of prior conversations on the subject matter you want to bring up. Then, combine this with noting other’s reactions to things you or others share with them. This information will help you determine the best way to approach certain individuals in the future.
There is more to do with truly getting your opinion heard than using a certain tone or body language. It has more to do with the relationships you have established around you and your confidence. Workplaces that place value on the opinions of their employees produce steady, creative content and ideas. In conclusion, use our personal connection techniques so your opinion is heard in the workplace, and support the voice of your co-workers.