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In today’s quick-moving and highly competitive business landscape, effective communication is a must. While the benefits of well-executed workplace communication encourage success (and should be appreciated accordingly), they also work to prevent failure. In other words, lacking communication can prevent a company from exceeding goals, because employees won’t know exactly what these goals are.

Thankfully, bosses, managers, and employees charged with coordinating assignments can improve the quality of their communication—and minimize frustration and hassle—by adhering to some simple and straightforward tips.

Be Empathetic

Empathy is perhaps the most important characteristic of the successful communicator. With deadlines, competition, and stress abound in the contemporary workplace, it can be easy to forget two significant things: That everyone else also feels the demands of work, and other people are just that—people—and deserve to be treated as such.

Instead of freaking out over employees’ mistakes or omissions, remember that they are simply trying to get along. Think about things from their perspective—including the demands of the task at-hand—and think about how demoralizing it would be to receive a verbal lashing for an honest mistake or misunderstanding.

In short, more empathy means more understanding, and more understanding amplifies focus and increases productivity.

Be Approachable

Effective communicators are approachable communicators.

Despite what many leadership websites and “professionals” preach, communication is a two-way street, and a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation and the utilization of big words won’t change this reality. Accordingly, communicators should be as approachable as possible, and it should be made clear to employees that their questions, concerns, and comments are appreciated.

It’s better to issue a multitude of explanations upfront, as opposed to answering no upfront questions and receiving lacking work.

Great communication is about talking and listening.

Be Interested

Forging personal—in a casual sense—relationships with coworkers will increase comfort and make fruitful back-and-forth communication easier to come by. Coworkers—and especially employees and bosses—don’t need to be, and probably shouldn’t be, best friends. But that doesn’t mean a simple, “How was your weekend?” or “Is everything going alright?” won’t be appreciated.

These tips are sure to help improve communication in the workplace, and improved communication can only make all involved individuals’ lives easier.