The workplace can often be bogged down by conversations that do not drive productivity. This article explores strategies to avoid topics that lead to wasteful conversations.
What’s Valued in the Workplace
The back-and-forth emails that are sent at work are generally to the point, as people do not like to read irrelevant information. So why aren’t the conversations that take place at work the same?
The conversations you have at work should always have an outcome. When at work, it is important that all dialogue leads to a completed task or a mitigated issue. Conversations at work should therefore be direct and to the point. This is a fact which will be appreciated under very tight timelines and when there is no time to converse about anything other than the task at hand.
Hold onto the feeling of looming timelines and time running out when you are at work. The workplace is no place for the development of unprofessional relationships, which we have written about previously.
To avoid many problems that others experience at work, be results-oriented and cut all fat out of your methods of communication. There are steps which you can take in order to be more direct in your conversation habits at work, the ones below are a good place to start.
Let Go of Being Liked for Anything Other Than Your Quality of Work
If you were to list the reasons why you go to work every morning, making friends should not be in your list of top five. There are many other places in life to make friends, and the workplace should not be purposely utilized to develop social relationships. If friendships arise after years of working with somebody, that is perfectly fine.
Your friendships will build on how well you work with others, and how others perceive your work ethic to be. Developing relationships with people at work whose work habits you have not yet analyzed is a dangerous thing, and you should aim to not do so.
A person who is always to the point and only after a completed task may be disliked by some. People will see you as rude, stubborn, and anti-social. To you, these things should not matter as long as you are getting work done in an efficient and timely manner.
If your work depends on you being sociable, then you better be. Analyze everything that absolutely needs to happen, and everything which does not. Some jobs do not hold an importance on social interactions with stakeholders for example, and rely heavily on independent work at your desk.
Figure out what makes you the most successful at work and only chase after those goals. These should be the overarching principles with which you work. If you are disliked for something which is not critical for your job being done well, then pay it no mind. There will be many things which demand your attention at work, including people who do not care for your time and energy.
Be selfish in achieving your own personal goals and the goals of your organization. Your conversations should all lead to increases in productivity. The people around you will find ways to attack your approach, and you shouldn’t be defensive about how you conduct yourself. Simply present to them which goals you find most important to meet at work.
There Are Many Ways to Say the Same Thing
After you begin detailing how you will operate in the workplace and how you want your conversations to look like, you will need to become a master of utilizing concise language. Learn how to speak concisely and with precision. Eliminate any unnecessary speech in your workplace dialogue, and never make anybody wait for a point which you are making.
Begin to analyze how many words people waste around you. Understand how people jump around sensitive topics and issues they don’t want to directly tackle. Part of speaking concisely is tackling the scary things head on. Hone the skill of speaking professionally but harshly when needed.
Make it a priority to voice the truth in a manner which others are afraid to do so because of social pressures. Have the overarching goal in mind for each conversation you are partaking in and drive it recklessly towards those goals.
Keep pushing your listeners to answer the questions that you need answered, and let them know directly if they do not provide you with the information that you need. When someone needs information from you, present it to them at once with minimal supplementary information.
Be vicious in your ability to cut the fat at work and ensure your efforts are helping the team. You will begin to be viewed as a person who cares for truth, and not other unnecessary behaviors at work. Be willing to force your way to what is needed to be said, done, and analyzed at work. Do so professionally, and learn how to do it whilst utilizing the least number of words.