Communication is used in almost every aspect of business - in meetings, employee conversations, interviews, email, and video conferencing. According to research, successful companies have effective communication practices. Therefore, communication - and communication climates - are one of the most important aspects of any workplace, especially in a virtual environment.
But what exactly is a "communication climate"? In short, it’s the emotional tone of relationships or the organization as a whole. It is so important because it can directly affect the organization's overall effectiveness, or lack thereof. The climate determines how people communicate and interact with one another.
Every relationship, work group, and organization has its own communication climate. They can range from positive to negative. They can be changed (for better or for worse), and that's why it's important to know the right skills to keep all employees happy.
A positive communication climate fosters mutual trust, communication, praise, and overall good feelings. On the contrary, negative communication climates contain barriers to happiness and overall production and effectiveness.
Managers and employees alike need to learn how to create positive communication climates, because that is how people feel valued. According to research, positive messages help create positive climates. When people are in a supportive environment such as this, they perceive others as liking, appreciating, and respecting them. In other words, they feel good.
It only takes simple messages such as "Great job!" or "That's a brilliant idea!" to make people feel respected and valued. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to create this positive environment when they work virtually.
Too often, people frequently resort to negative messages, and that makes people feel unimportant or even downright abused. These might be some of the reasons that you might not be getting the results you want from your team. It could be as simple as one employee not feeling included or "heard," or it could be that you haven't given enough recognition or praise to your top-performing worker.
In a negative communication climate, "disconfirming messages" are often used, and it makes people feel defensive. These messages, although not directly said, say things like, "I don't care about you," "I don't like you," or "You're not important to me." When this happens, employees tune out in self-preservation. And what does that do to your productivity and profit? It does nothing but hurt it.
Also, how a message is communicated has so much to do with how it received - for better or for worse.You might think that teasing, or a gentle "insult," is just playful and funny. But to the receiver, it might just feel like a personal attack.
When negative communication is pervasive in a workplace, then morale greatly decreases. Employees will dread going to work, and the results can be disastrous over time.
Positive morale in the workplace is the most important factor for the success of any business. Happy employees are more engaged, which leads to increased profitability. For this reason, it's important that you and your company create a positive communication climate so you can ensure that our business keeps making money.So, the importance of confirming, positive messages cannot be underestimated.
Leaders and employees alike need to be able to communicate with everyone at any level - and do it in a positive manner. If they can't do this, then the whole organization will suffer.
People don't like to feel tension and frustration, especially at work. In fact, many downright fear it. As a result, people either avoid problematic issues or they just handle negativity very ineffectively. That is why it is so important to learn how to create and maintain a positive communication climate.
Most of us were not taught how to handle defensiveness when it comes to relationships. That's why most people fear it, and at very least, are uncertain about how to deal with it.
It's hard enough for people to handle defensive communication climates when they are face-to-face, but when you are in a virtual workplace environment, there is even more fear and uncertainty about how to deal with it.
What do you do if someone become aggressive? How do you handle it if someone is overly critical? And how do you foster equality and discourage people from thinking they are superior to their colleagues?
As you can see, there is a lot of uncertainty that comes along with how to effectively deal with creating a positive communication climate in a virtual working environment. This is a real problem for many companies and individuals in these modern times.
Uncertainty around how defensive communication climates just leads to doubt. You probably doubt that you know the right way to handle the any negativity that comes your way. Do you have the right skills? Are you using the right strategy to get your desired outcome? Is there a “right” and “wrong” way to create positive communication climates - especially in a virtual workplace environment?
All of these questions can be answered - and they will. Negativity does not need to be feared, but you do need to know how to handle it effectively.
You can become a master at creating a positive communication climate in your virtual workplace, you just need to know how to do it right