Why Are You Feeling Awkward In The Conversation?
Communication is at the heart of the workplace. From the moment you come in and greet your colleagues to the moment you leave the office and wish everyone a good evening, it’s likely that you’ll never stop engaging throughout the day. Every day is a constant process of writing emails, delegating tasks, calling a partner, chatting with a colleague about a new project, organizing meetings with the department and creating written content to share new business ideas. There is no denying it: Communication is an essential skill of modern work life.
Even though it is one of the most crucial soft skill in any profession, it is also one of the most difficult to master. In fact, more often than not, you find yourself stuck in a conversation that isn’t moving in the right direction – or moving at all – and you have no idea of how to sort it out. Contrary to what most professional résumés might suggest, the art of communicating effectively, openly and productively is rare in business. There’s a good reason for it; people make businesses. And people are made of emotions as varied as boredom, frustration, confusion or fear. It’s the combination of these feelings that can affect the way you communicate. Are you stuck in an awkward business conversation? It is because of any of the following reasons:
You’re not sure how to progress effectively
You need to approach each conversation as a productive tool. A conversation that doesn’t create any outcome is a waste of time. Unconsciously, you might not know how to transform a meaningless conversation into a productive exchange. Indeed, at its core, a conversation sets an environment in which two or more individuals connect. Unproductive conversations can be changed and directed in the appropriate direction if you understand what you are trying to achieve. Unfortunately, in a business context, it can be easy to put personal interests first and forget about the bigger picture.
You need to train yourself to focus on collaborative and broad engagement with each conversation that occurs in the workplace. For instance, if someone talks to you to vent about a colleague, you need to encourage a cooperative process to sort out the conflict, such as expressing new ideas to said colleague. Similarly, when a work meeting feels stuck in a circle of repetitions and clichés, focusing everyone’s attention on the company’s mission – by asking what you are trying to accomplish – can free you from the burdens of a meaningless routine.
You don’t feel comfortable in an emotional situation
If you’re stressed-out or going through a difficult situation such as a breakup, it can be tricky to keep a professional mindset. Even though you might be doing your best to cope, some harsh words spoken in a heated conversation at work can hit you harder than they should. Ultimately, you can’t productively engage in professional communication when you’re hurting. But don’t let emotional pain slows you down. With discreet and effective online therapy, you can build your self-esteem back and find your mental strength again. Indeed, if you want a business to be successful, the key is to look after its most important asset: The people.
You are lacking the business lingo
I’ll send you the deck.
We need to caveat this.
Can you leverage the PR?
If you are unsure about the meaning of these terms, you might be struggling with business jargon. Each industry has a specific vocabulary – think of discussing a simple will with a lawyer and trying to understand their answers because they’re using sayings you don’t understand. If you want to improve your chances of communicating effectively, you need to know the meaning of common business terms. More often than not, you’ll find that while there are national trends, each region can have preferred sayings. If you’ve recently moved to a new state – or even if you’re working abroad –, it can be confusing at first to know what other people are talking about. Don’t be ashamed to ask your interlocutors to clarify their thoughts. Jargon is too often used as a placeholder in conversation.
You’ve forgotten the names of the people
Let me introduce my colleagues to you: Mary Jane, Sue Ellen and John Smith.
While you smile and shake hands, you know that by the end of the conversation, you’d have forgotten their names and job titles. When you can’t remember someone’s name, it shows them that you don’t care about them, and this can affect the success of your conversation. You can use some simple memory hacks to train your mind. Remembering a name is a matter of motivation. You have to want to remember in the first place. Focusing on the person you are meeting can help you to establish a mental connection.
You’ve lost focus
You’re sitting in a meeting. As the conversation goes back and forth between colleagues, you find yourself thinking about your beach holiday. Before you know it, you’re distracted and are not paying any attention to the conversation. Distractions are a toll on productivity and can affect the way you engage – or fail to – in the conversation. However, you can train your mind to stay focused by checking-in. This is an intentional practice to engage every participant at the beginning of a meeting. In a team, you can intentionally share what is on your mind before a meeting. That enables you to build a connection with your colleagues and set aside unnecessary worries.
You don’t know how to negotiate
When you are in a conversation with a potential client, you need to be in a position of negotiating a business deal. However, for a lot of people, negotiation is a complicated process. For instance, inexperienced negotiators believe they’ve got a deal when a lead asks for the price. In reality, you need to be able to recognize interested leads from people who are only comparing prices. You should also learn to discuss requirements in detail to gain a better understanding of the situation. Negotiating is about building a positive connection, not sharing prices.
Business communication is an art that is influenced by your feelings and your experience. The more you know about yourself, the better you can manage bad habits and create a positive playground for productive conversations.