Have you ever wondered how you can improve your professionalism when communicating with people at work? Despite your best intentions, you might inadvertently be frustrating your colleagues by doing things that annoy them.
The good news is that there are many little things you can do to become more professional, and we’re going to share ten small tips with you in this article.
Message before calling.
With the way technology has developed in recent times, private messaging and email have become much more popular methods of communicating than phone calls. It’s now considered courteous to drop someone a message before calling them, as you’re not sure if they’re free or what they’re doing. Unless it’s urgent, it’s always a good idea to send a brief message to schedule a call for a specific time.
Inform people if you can’t attend a call.
Sometimes certain things come up that means you have to rearrange your work schedule. While this is understandable, you should have the courtesy to inform the relevant people that you won’t be able to make a scheduled call. This allows them to re-schedule or proceeds without you, depending on what they decide. You should always offer a reason why you couldn’t speak on a pre-arranged call.
Be brief with your messages and emails.
When you’re contacting your colleagues, do your best to be brief with your messages. There’s no need to ramble on with unnecessary paragraphs, as this will just waste their time. Be as clear as possible when stating your reason for getting in touch, and propose a call or meeting if you need to go into something in more detail.
Get dressed for a video call, even when working from home.
If you find yourself working from home, you should ensure you get dressed for your day of work. While you might not put on a full suit like you would if you were going to the office, it’s still important to dress appropriately for your day at your desk. Treat video calls in the same way you would a face-to-face meeting and give your colleagues the respect they deserve when you speak to them.
Always think things through before speaking.
So many issues arise from people saying things without thinking. If you have a question or an issue that you think might cause offense, repeat it to yourself a couple of times before saying it out loud. If you think it’s inappropriate after hearing it a few times in your head, it’s best to leave it unsaid and go back to it in the future if you feel it’s necessary.
Don’t be in a hurry to end a call.
Showing impatience when on a call is rude, regardless of how you look at it. When you’re speaking to someone, be sure to give them the time and attention that the call requires. To ensure you don’t have to rush during a call, make sure you plan your diary efficiently, as this will save you having to rush through calls and meetings that arise.
Don’t bring up personal issues during business calls.
Even if you’re friends with your colleagues outside of work, don’t waste time on a call talking about your personal issues. Just because something is playing on your mind, it doesn’t mean your colleague has the time to listen to it right now. Save your personal conversations for your own time and concentrate on the work at hand.
Ask clarifying questions if you don’t understand.
If you haven’t understood something that has been spoken about, you must ask questions to clarify. While you might think it’s inconvenient at the time, if you keep quiet, you risk not understanding the task, which will have a negative impact on your work.
Make a list of any actions.
When a call comes to an end, make sure you write down any actions that have been agreed upon and send them to everyone that attended the call. This ensures that the necessary work will be completed after the call is finished and gives you the chance to follow up and check that everyone understands what they’re supposed to be doing.
Thank everyone for their time after a meeting or call.
Remember that people are busy and have lots of tasks to complete at work. The fact they’ve given their time to be on a call is something you should be grateful for, so make sure you thank them when the meeting or call comes to an end. It’s a simple way of showing your appreciation and keeping them happy.
Being professional doesn’t take a great deal, but you must focus on raising your standards to ensure you’re taken seriously by your colleagues. If you don’t work on your professionalism, you risk being the person at work that they get easily frustrated by, and they might make things difficult for you.