Social communication, Communication in the workplace, listening skills, feedback, skills
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 16 March 2019
What is Social Communication and How is it Best Used in the Workplace?
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Hannah Son
Content Writer
Redondo Beach

The ability to communicate in a professional manner is crucial in taking you a long way into your career and even more crucial for having a well balanced personal life. 


If you are wondering what social communication is, you have come to the right place. According to the The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), social communication is "the synergistic emergence of social interaction, social cognition, pragmatics (verbal and nonverbal), and receptive and expressive language processing." In other (less complicated) words, Social communication refers to language that is used in social situations. Easy right? Well, not exactly. Communication is a skill that everyone knows but not everyone has mastered...especially when it comes to communication in the workplace. 

There needs to be communication in the workplace for any company to function. According to Michael D. Brown an accomplished Human Resource Manager, and Director at Fresh Passion Institute:

“The importance of social communication in a workplace can be measured to the importance of communication in a relationship. Without it an emotional decay in interaction becomes unavoidable. Basically, you need social communication to spruce the spirit of comradeship in the office. Without this refreshing flavor of social communication, the competition gets too direct between your employees and antagonistically spills into Counter-productivity.”


 Workplace communication doesn't just come in the form of talking one on one with someone. Workplace communication consists of transmitting information between one person or a group of people. It includes emails, voicemails, text messages, phone calls, notes, and physical chats. 

 

How Social Communication Can Help You:


1.Workplace Productivity

When employees have communication with other employees or with their employers they become more accountable for their work which results in more productivity. Research has shown that work communication leads to an improvement in company performance.

 

2.Have Greater Job Satisfaction

There are two types of communication that help with greater job satisfaction. First, we have upward communication which mostly consists of feedback. When bosses and managers are able to listen to their employees and give positive feedback, they will find that their employees will have positive feelings towards their boss and their job. In return, employees will be happier and employers will be happier. 

In addition, employees can also be happy with downward communication.  This is when messages and information get handed down through ones work organization chain whether by email or meetings. Employees can be happy with this type of communication because they will know what is going on in their office. It can lead to better organization, efficiency, and your company set and obtain goals.


There are many types of communication but we often find ourselves working with two in the workplace:

 Informal communication: According to this Linkedin Slideshow, informal communication is defined by episodes of interaction that do not reflect officially designated channels of communication. Translation: Exchanging information through unofficial channels. Example: Meeting a co-worker at the water cooler and discussing weekend plans.

Nate Masterson, HR Manager of Maple Holisitics suggests:

“In-person communication amongst coworkers is a great way to foster collaboration and help coworkers bond. It provides an opportunity for colleagues to discuss not just work-related issues but also information about their personal lives, which makes the office feel more like a family. And by talking in person and seeing each other’s facial expressions and body language, staff members can communicate more productively and bounce ideas off of each other more effectively.”


 Formal Communication: Communication through officially designated channels of message flow between organization positions. Translation: Exchanging information through official channels. Example: Reading a policy manual or communicating through traditional hierarchical structures. 

All this being said, it is clear that communication is an effective management tool. The importance of communication in the workplace is often overlooked. Effective communication is a skill that everyone can develop. Developing these skills will benefit you both inside and outside of work. If you need a little more help, here are 5 great ways to amp up those skills.


1. Pay Attention. In the words of the great Jennifer Hudson “LISTENNNNNN”. Don’t interrupt and don’t just pretend to be paying attention. It's impossible to have effective communication if we don't give them our undivided attention. Listening and paying attention includes you trying to analyze one's body language. So pick up on little cues and be aware of how people are conveying their thoughts not just through words. 


2. Check your grammar. This one applies to written communication. Proofread everything. Nothing makes you look as unprofessional as a bad typo. 


3. Give Constructive Criticism. In any management position (and even noon-managerial positions at that) you have to leave emotions at bay. Don’t project negative emotions from one project or person onto another. This only creates tension and bad results. When giving feedback, work to ensure your comments aren't biased or emotionally charged. 


By mastering workplace social communication strategies, you can ensure that you will become an important asset to your company. If you want to learn more soft skills like this, check out the rest of ProSky’s Career Buzz blog.