Should workplace communication be more casual?04 Aug 2015
Many people bite their tongues in the workplace. There’s a lingering a sense that saying what you really mean will only get you in trouble. However, speaking your mind in the right kind of way can be productive. It’s important for leaders to allow their peers a forum to do this.
After all, the office environment can stifle both productivity and engagement if its practices are too rigid. The best way to negate this? Encourage casual conversation.
Learn more about your team
It’s a challenge for any leader to get the best out of those they work with. This problem is only made worse when discussions are centred on outdated rituals. While there’s a balance to be struck, taking the casual approach can help you better understand your team.
Having more personable conversations can give you the opportunity to understand their strengths and weaknesses in a more natural way, not only showing you their current capabilities but highlighting areas where they have potential to improve as well.
Avoid being boring
Corporate communications are often perceived as dry and frankly, a little boring. As a leader, you can communicate effectively in spite of this. For example, Ragan’s HR Communication pointed out that open ended questions are a good, casual conversation starter.
Moreover, doing this will often help your peers think a little more laterally. Consequently, casual communications have a role to play in creative problem solving, too.
Adapt to your workforce
The average office space welcomes more millennial and Generation Yers as time passes. Leaders need to adapt their communication as a result. Research by Acompli suggested ditching more formal conversation, and even embracing slang.
Of course, there’s a balance to be struck. However, if you can become adaptable in the face of a changing workforce then your communication skills as a leader will likely improve.