Open Communication in the Workplace: Definition, Skills & Benefits

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  • 0:01 Open Communication Defined
  • 1:49 Creating Open…
  • 2:39 Benefits of Effective…
  • 3:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley D. Manker
In this lesson, we will discuss the definition of open communication, how to create open communication in the workplace, and the benefits of effective communication in the workplace.

Open Communication Defined

Communication, the flow of information between people, is a very important part of the workplace. Managers must be able to communicate with employees and employees must be able to communicate with managers in order to have a profitable business. Communication can be broken into two main types:

  • Verbal: Verbal communication requires the spoken word.
  • Nonverbal: Nonverbal communication involves communicating without speaking, such as in writing or body language.

The subtypes of communication include the following:

Open and closed

Open communication occurs when all parties are able to express ideas to one another, such as in a conversation or debate. On the other hand, closed communication occurs when only one person is actively communicating, like a lecture from your professor.

Positive and negative

Positive communication occurs when all parties involved feel that they were heard. Negative communication occurs when people feel like they were not heard or feel that they were attacked. Yelling, name-calling and arguing are some examples of negative communication.

Effective and Ineffective

Effective communication occurs when all parties feel that they have reached a desired outcome, like a meeting with your supervisor to discuss a new process. Hopefully, you would leave that meeting knowing what the new process is, and your supervisor would feel confident that you understood the new process.

Ineffective communication occurs when one or both parties feel that they have not reached a desired outcome. For example, if you walk away from that meeting with your supervisor not knowing what the process is, the meeting was ineffective.

Creating Open Communication in the Workplace

Open communication gives everyone equal participation in the success of the business. Creating an atmosphere of open communication allows for the flow of energy and creativity. It establishes an environment where all employees have a good understanding of the goals and what needs to be done to accomplish those goals.

There are five ways to create open communication in the workplace:

  1. Ensure that all managers are committed to open communication.
  2. Keep your message positive.
  3. Let everyone know what you're doing and why.
  4. Take notice of the diversity in your workplace. Some groups receive information differently.
  5. Establish a grievance system. Let employees know that their complaints will be kept confidential.

Benefits of Effective Communication

Everyone should help to promote open and honest communication in the workplace. Doing this will create a solid foundation for your company. The benefits of effective open communication are:

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