Episode 32 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” combines two popular past episodes: “Healthy Office Communications,” and “HR Naysayers to HR Thought Leaders.” JoDee and Susan discuss communication best practices at the office. Special guest Alex Rufatto-Perry talks about what makes someone communicate like a thought leader vs. a naysayer.
The hosts begin by discussing advice from a Harvard Business Review article, which encourages readers to improve communication and reduce stress with three behaviors. It recommends that you stop being vague, triage your responses based on time sensitivity, and stop micromanaging. JoDee and Susan also give their own tips on healthy workplace communication, including using StrengthsFinder to understand how others work, making team meetings more effective, and treating others the way they want to be treated. Next, the hosts share their suggestions for reducing stress; taking breaks, distancing yourself and thinking about the problem objectively, breaking projects into chunks, and “running to the roar.”
Alex Rufatto-Perry joins the co-hosts to discuss being an HR naysayer vs. an HR thought leader. Naysayer vs. thought leader boils down to optimist vs. pessimist; “How can we do this?” vs. “We can’t do this.” Studies show that thought leaders use more optimistic language than their peers. People who are really effective communicators develop self-awareness around their communication and seek out ways to improve it, taking into account everything from tone of voice to word choice to non-verbals and body language. JoDee, Susan, and Alex discuss why HR people have a reputation for being naysayers.
There are lots of things we can do to change our language and how we’re perceived. Pay attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it, and don’t spend the whole time someone is talking thinking about how you’re going to respond instead of listening. Plan ahead for your communication, and ask lots of questions. Make sure your language is clear, concise, and direct, and that everyone is understanding what you’re saying. And when you do have to say no to someone, discuss what they’re really trying to achieve and whether there are any other ways you can get there. Finally, consider your personal brand and develop habits around how you want to be perceived.
Planning for your communication in advance is key. Think about why you’re there (for yourself, others, and the organization), who you’re talking to and what they might ask you, and how you show up, position yourself, and follow up. Know how to read the room and when it’s the right time to say – or not say – something. Keep your message consistent throughout the organization by using the clearest, most concise, and most direct way to give the message, knowing your audience, and knowing whether (and why) you’re telling people at the same time or at different times.
In this episode’s listener mail, the co-hosts answer a question about how to address a workplace peer’s body odor issue, and share their thoughts on whether you need to give an employer two weeks’ notice when training for your new opportunity starts next week.