While we all are social beings, being the same everywhere is not a great way to be social. Your conduct of communication in the workplace defines how strong your professional relations become, and can even extend to limiting your career growth.
One of the biggest tools for success, communication, can also be your reason for professional downfall. From being rude in tone to making casual offensive comments, your communication can halt your career growth, and even lead to legal action taken against you. So, if you feel that you are being offensive at work even unintentionally, read on to know how to change things before irreparable damage is done.
Identifying Offensive Behavior
The first and the most important step for anyone to check their offensiveness is to identify it at every stage of their professional tenure. How do you do that? Well, the trick is pretty simple.
Put Yourself In The Receiving End
Before saying something, think whether what you say will feel offensive to you if someone else says it to you instead. If the answer is yes, then you know what you should do to prevent controversies.
Check Your Privilege
Most of the offensive interaction happens between colleagues of different professional status. The reason behind this is the subconscious belief that you are more important than the other person. If you feel that you are in power over them, your response to a particular discussion (For example; taking a junior’s concern lightly) can become quite offensive.
This one trait of an offending person extends to all sorts of life. An important part of any conversation is to listen to what the speaker says. Offensive people often interrupt the speakers, and give conclusions or suggestions on half heard information. If you are a poor listener, your colleagues can get offended quite easily.
Being A Comedian
It is important to understand that comedy is a form of tragedy. This essentially means that laughter comes only when someone has to take the damage either in the form of an insult or a comment. What do you do to make people laugh? If the source of comedy is one of your teammates itself, it may not only become offensive but invite legal action at some point too. However, this is quite subjective based on how the receiver perceives comedy. If their threshold is great and you do not cross it, they may not be impacted at all.
Now that you know all the effective ways to identify if you are being offensive, the only way to prevent any of those instances is by being sensible in your communication. Always remember to take your time understanding what you are about to say before actually saying. The reference “Think twice before you speak once” stands strong even today.
Choose Positive Tonality
In a lot of conversations, the tone does more damage than the words do. So, ensuring how you speak is backed with a positive energy plays an impactful role in conveying even the most painful messages. If nothing, learn from an experienced Human Resource professional who informs people when they are let go.
Condemn the use of slurs that include contexts like race, sexual orientation, gender identity, personal trauma, or anything that is over the boundary of a professional interaction. These are one of the most offensive types of words one can ever use. Not only will they hurt the receiver, but will invite legal action against you to the extent of incarceration too.
Use Powerful Phrases
A great way to get through to a person without offending them is to use powerful phrases. They are not some big words, but the formation of small words in such a way that invites positivity and comfort. One such instance is the use of the phrase “Tell me”. The difference between “What happened to you?” “Tell me what happened to you” is distinct in practical life, says Alexandra Carter, a negotiation training expert at the United Nations.
Communication is Key
Communication is actually the key to the doors that lie ahead in your life. The only difference is the path they open for you. Whether our door opens to a stronger relationship with great reputation, or continuous isolation due to repetitive dislike from your audience is up to you only. Use your words wisely and you will lead your life wiser, both professional and personally.