We don’t (always) have the luxury of choosing who we work with. While you might mostly get along with everyone, there are always going to be people you don’t gel with. Perhaps your beliefs are not aligned, your personalities are too different (or similar!) or you simply believe things at work should be done in different ways. This can lead to misunderstandings, confrontations and a whole lot of drama.
But your headbutts needn’t be like a scene from The Office. Instead, learn how to practice cooperative (or productive) communication with your colleagues.
Cooperative communication is essentially the skills required to get along with people. The capability of a person to relay information or approach others in a non-threatening and polite manner is the basis of cooperative communication and, if properly implemented, this technique can promote a better work atmosphere and collaboration.
Here are some other positive outcomes from practicing cooperative communication:
It helps avoid employee-to-employee frictionWork-related stress can take its toll. This can result in conflict between colleagues, either due to work inefficiency or clashing personalities under pressure. Practicing cooperative communication can help lessen occurrences like these - talk calmly through your issues without being accusational in your tone.
It eliminates the need to always win an argumentWhen there are misunderstanding in a workplace, no one seems to be in the wrong. People have the urge to let their egos rule, desperate to ‘win’ the argument. This sad scenario can be eliminated with cooperative communication, because it helps broaden a person’s mind in understanding and accepting other people’s opinions. So instead of always trying to win an argument, you compromise to solve the issue.
It inspires unityWhen people don’t get along well, they tend to work in isolation and insist on doing things their own way without considering other’s suggestions. But if employees start to listen and communicate maturely, it fosters teamwork and a harmonious environment. A team that works well together can solve problems more efficiently than everyone is functioning individually, with different attacks on a same task. Unity is productivity.
It saves time in trainings and meetingsThere is nothing worse than pointless meetings where nothing gets achieved, simply because people argue. The anter can go on for hours, and important points on the agenda are missed. Implementing cooperative communication can prevent this kind of situation, saving everyone time (and sanity!) When everyone is on their best behaviour, the moderator can stay on topic and can generate better results.
It promotes good customer serviceWhen you communicate politely, you practice it in all aspects of your job - from dealing with your colleagues, to speaking with customers. Happy communication means happy clients - no one wants to deal with argumentative and confrontational people. A positive attitude reflects well on the company, helping you to promote the business effectively.
Cooperative communication is a simple concept that goes a long way when done properly. Offices should promote this for a better work environment, happier employees, and satisfied customers.