Communication SkillsInterpersonal SkillsLeadership SkillsPersonal Skills

Language and Behaviors for Effective Workplace Communication

How language and behaviors can demonstrate effective Communication Skills in the Workplace?

We always want our verbal communication to be at best in the Workplace, but often we fall prey to our feelings, frustrations, and stress resulting in offending a colleague or the boss. 

Our spoken workplace communication skills are not always optimal. Sometimes, this is because we feel threatened/criticized, and we lash out instead of recognizing that lashing out does not help us, nor does it improve the relationship with those around us. 

At other times, our spoken communication is not optimal. After all, we don’t want to be bothered because we already have enough on our plate.


Language and Behaviors for Effective Workplace Communication

To start, consider your language and behaviors and how these simple yet powerful tips can help you communicate effectively in workplace situations.

Situation 1: You are interacting with someone at work

Always make direct eye contact, smile and shake hands and say – 

  • “Good morning!” or 
  • “Good afternoon!” or 
  • “Good evening!” or 
  • “How are you?” or 
  • “How’s it going?” or 
  • “Welcome!” “How can I help you?” or 
  • “Hi/hello there, what can I . . . ?” or 
  • “It’s so nice to meet you . . .”

Situation 2: When you want to make a request

Always make direct eye contact and keep a smile and then say – 

  • “Could you please help me in . . .?” or 
  • “Please help me in . . .?” or 
  • “Would you mind . . .?” or 
  • “Hello, I need your support and expertise in . . .” or 
  • “Hi, I was hoping/looking . . .” 
  • “When you have a minute, could you please . . .?”

Situation 3: When someone makes you a request

Always make direct eye contact, smile, nod head up and down, and say – 

  • “Absolutely . . .” 
  • “No problem/not a problem . . .” 
  • “Sure thing . . .” 
  • “Give me 10 minutes, and I’ll. . .” 
  • “I’m not sure, but let me ask and get right back to you . . .” 
  • “Give me a moment . . .” 
  • “Sorry, busy now I can’t. . . . right now. However, I can . . .”

Situation 4: When you want to offer suggestions, criticize or change someone’s mind

Always look into the person’s eyes and say – 

  • “I think you did a splendid job with A and B. Next time, though, with A and B, please try . . .”
  • “Thanks, and appreciate that. If I could make a suggestion, next time . . .”
  • “I understand why . . . but instead, could you please . . .?”
  • “I absolutely see why . . . however, what would you think about . . .?”
  • “I know what you mean. I wonder, though, if you’d consider . . .?” 
  • “Most of this is good. I just think that . . .” 
  • “Sorry to intervene, but can I ask/suggest/request . . .?”

Situation 5: When someone criticizes, suggests, or tries to persuade you

Make sure you listen carefully, never ignore the comment and look into the person’s eyes and/or nod your head up and down and say –  

  • “That’s a good point. I’ll definitely give it a try next time”. 
  • “Sure – sounds good. I’ll make sure to do that”. 
  • “Absolutely, why not. Let’s try that”. 
  • “I have considered it but wasn’t sure if it would work, but I’ll try it next time.” 
  • “I value your feedback and will ensure that . . .” 
  • “Let me think about your suggestion and revert to you.” 
  • “Appreciate the feedback. Doing my best here, thanks”.

Language and Behaviors at Workplace – Try This:

Before you call it a day, just relax for a few minutes and think over various communication situations you came across that day. How did you perform? Can you do better in a similar situation next time?

Use the above language and behaviors to provide an effective response. Then, develop another effective response, not from these lists, but on your own. With regular practice and devoting just a few minutes, you will be able to understand situational communication and provide a response that’s not only effective but powerful enough to draw people towards you.



Consider the following situations and try to develop your responses – 

  • A co-worker criticizes you for taking too long to get a document to him. What do you say?
  • Boss suggests you end your presentations with a clear conclusion instead of a theory. What do you say?
  • A customer criticizes your pronunciation skills on a call. What do you say?
  • You’re unhappy with a colleague’s performance in your team. What can you say?

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Marty Hoffman

Marty Hoffman, MBA, PhD Management Consultant for Fortune 500 and Corporate Strategist 📍 San Francisco, CA More »

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