Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

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1 Working with others

During your working life, you will encounter many different people and personalities, and you will frequently be required to work with people who have a different approach to you.

Sometimes this will lead to an increased level of productivity, by bringing together different approaches and strengths. On other occasions these differences can lead to slow progress or inefficient practice, perhaps due to prolonged discussions, lack of decision making, or even mistrust between colleagues.

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Figure 1 The importance of working together.

The ability to work effectively with other people requires a strong commitment to open, honest, clear and respectful communication. The goals of any task have to be well-defined and all members should be clear about their specific responsibilities. This isn’t always easy to achieve, and involves the leader of the team regularly reiterating the goals and sharing progress towards them.

Flexibility is another key strength when working with others. Being flexible in your approach to people and tasks is more likely to achieve positive results. Lack of flexibility can sometimes be due to fear of change, but that can also be overcome by clear lines of open communication and two-way dialogue. If people understand why they are doing something, and how their actions will benefit the project, department or organisation, they are more likely to embrace it.

To explore some of the other elements that make working with others more effective, watch this short video about good collaboration.

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