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Open Campus Soft Skills Module 3B.3 – Communication Counts

October 12, 2019

professional language– professional language,
it goes without saying, is paramount to the workplace. As a professional, there
are just certain standards and certain expectations that
employers expect of employees and even prospective employees. Professional language
includes being able to use standard English
and correct language. So no matter who your audience
is, in the workplace, you should always use standard
English in your speaking and in your writing. Use appropriate titles
when addressing others. So if they’re someone that
is a doctor of medicine or a doctor of philosophy
or a doctor in education, it is appropriate to
use their title when you are greeting them,
speaking to them, communicating with them. And if you are unsure
about the title of your employer or your
coworkers, it’s OK to ask. It’s best to ask
for clarification and for the appropriate title
than to make an assumption. In certain workplace
environments, people are called by
their first names. Well, you have to know
what the protocol is there in the workplace. So until you’re certain if
first-name bases are used, always go by Mr., Mrs., Ms. And of course, if
they are a doctor or if they are an
attorney, it’s always appropriate to say Dr. Feast,
or Ebens, or Attorney Marshall. That way, you’re showing a
level of respect to the title and to the position of others. By all means, do not use
profanity in the workplace. In fact, it should be something
that we should shy away from in general. Vulgar language is
simply unacceptable. It can offend people. It can also create an
impression about you that is not befitting or
very positive in nature. So when we are using a
professional language in the workplace, profanity
is absolutely not acceptable. Another form of
professional language includes not using slang
or jargon in the workplace. Even words or expressions
that are commonly accepted in other
settings, you should want to say shy away from
those particular phrases or words in the
workplace, especially when you’re speaking or
writing to any audience. If your audience is
a group of coworkers, if your audience is your
superior, your supervisor, the owner of the company,
or even if you’re dealing with
customers, always have a professional and
polished use of language. Avoid making biased
or derogatory comments in the workplace. You don’t want to offend
someone, be accused of sexual harassment
because of a joke, finding yourself in a
position where you’re using or being compromised with
racial or ethnic or religious comments. Avoid comments, generalizations,
examples, jokes, any type of language that can
present a form of a stereotype. Those are things
that you should want to make certain not
to do, particularly in the professional environment. And last but not least,
be polite to others. Please and thank you– it goes a long way. Having the mentality
of the golden rule, doing unto others as you would
have others to do unto you, is simply a very
good act of courtesy on the job in your language,
whether it’s spoken or whether it’s written. The next element to show about
communication and how it counts is dealing with manners
in the workplace. When we’re looking
at manners, there are eight particular
things that we want to talk about
regarding etiquette and the way that you carry
yourself in the workplace. First, dress
appropriately for work. Do not wear revealing,
see-through garments that may be showing your midriff. Don’t wear shorts
to work, especially those that are too short. Make certain that
your garments are well taken care of, that they
have been well-laundered, and just you’re
dressing appropriately for the workplace. We talked about workplace attire
at the beginning of our time together. I believe it’s module 1. Also in the
workplace, be on time to meetings, conference
calls, and appointments. And most importantly,
be on time to work whenever you’re scheduled. You want to reflect a
prospective or prompt attitude. You want to make certain
that you are timely. And you want to be known
and respected for that. Also, respect the
space of others. That’s when you are
having conversations with coworkers near
another coworker’s office, when you are talking on the
cell phone in the workplace, you want to use cell
phone safety zones. And it’s proven that about 10
feet away from other people is appropriate for
using your cell phone. You don’t want to speak
in the cell phone voice and using the loud voice
that you would sometimes use to communicate on a cell phone. Can you hear me now? Can you hear me? Well, not everyone
in the workplace want to be able to hear your
conversations with people on a cell phone. So be respectful of other
people’s personal space. Don’t gossip. Don’t start talking about your
fellow coworkers or employees. Avoid oversharing about your
own personal life as well. Other tips regarding
manners in the workplace include don’t borrow
things from your coworkers, especially without asking. You don’t want to pick up
things off of their desk, borrow their pen, borrow
papers, books, borrow reports. Just don’t do it. We want to exercise
courtesy in every way. So just as if we
would want people to ask to use some
of our things, we don’t want to borrow
things from other people without asking. Clean up behind yourself. Don’t expect others
to clean up after you. You are in the workplace. You are not at home. You’re not in this
very informal, laid-back environment. So you want to make certain that
you keep your work area clean. You want to make certain that
if you’re in the break room and you’ve had your
lunch or your breakfast that you pick up after yourself. We want to, again,
do unto others as we would have
others to do unto us. We want to be kind and
considerate of others. And keep your
poise at all times. No matter what other people
are doing in the workplace, if there is misbehavior being
conducted all around you, you maintain your poise. You always remain
professional in everything that you do at work. You want to set a
positive example. Even as a newcomer
on the job, you want to make certain that you
are doing things appropriately, you are using proper language,
professional language, and that you’re being courteous
and using appropriate manners and etiquette in the
workplace because when you’re doing the right thing,
that’s going to make you shine even brighter. And you never know who’s
looking at you when you’re just being you, doing what’s expected
of you, going above and beyond, and most of all, using
positive workplace manners in the process. And lastly, know office
policy regarding cell phone and social media use– it’s important to know
what is deemed acceptable. We live in a community,
we live in a time, where people are
using their cell phones as a form of
primary communication. Landlines, having
home phones, are now becoming less common
in our environment. But we have to still
remember that we are in a professional setting. And whether it’s in
our employee handbook or whether it is something
that is stated and reinforced in the office, always
know what the policies are regarding cell phone usage. Do you have the permission
to be able to use your cell phone during break time,
not during work time? Can you text in the
case of an emergency? What is the protocol
for answering your cell phone on the job? Also, social media use– and we’re going to talk
about this in detail in later modules. But I want to make certain
that you understand that social media usage on the
job, if used inappropriately and violating company
policy, can cost you a job. You want to make certain
that you are exemplifying good manners and good
etiquette when it comes down to the social media
policies of your company. That line between
professional and personal and what I do off the job
and what I do on the job– that there’s a difference–
that line is eroding to where what you’re doing,
what you’re doing in your personal life,
what you’re saying, and what you’re doing in
your professional life– it all works hand-in-hand. Employers want to have
people on their teams and they want to have
employees working for them who know how
to conduct themselves both on and off the job. And that’s why
knowing how to use strong positive manners in the
workplace is indeed important. We’re getting ready to take
quiz 3 for character counts– module 3, part 2. Now, when taking
your module test, it’s also important
that you go and take your communication styles test. There is a quiz– I’m sorry– that is listed
in our module 3 files. So find out if you’re passive,
if you are aggressive, if you are
passive-aggressive, or if you are assertive in your
communication styles. I invite you to go
and just check it out so that you will then know
how you communicate to others and how best to make the right
adjustments so that you can be an effective communicator. Until next time, we’ll
see you on the other side. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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