I receive several questions from time to time from readers which sort of relate to how to deal with another employee at work or a boss. Most times, it all boils down to communication which can be quite tricky because everyone is unique and there is no one way to treat everyone.

And it dawned on me. I’ve been giving advice to my readers on how to work with people, for the benefit of others it’ll be a great idea to share general manners on how to communicate with co-workers in the workplace.

Most times, in solving challenges you may have with workers in the workplace, it takes good communication. Communication goes a long way in relaying how you feel concerning a matter. How you approach the other party is equally important in determining the effect of your communication.

Many times, when I give advice on handling workplace issues, depending on the matter at hand, communicating with the other party is usually a last resort. If not well handled, it could worsen the situation.

Some experts are of the opinion that some people appreciate it better when you can take them aside and communicate with them, and maintain eye contact. Some people don’t want to be confronted in public but prefer some privacy. And I agree with them.

I think this topic is an important one; do you agree?

If you have issues with another colleague at work and you feel that communicating with the person will be a better way to handle the issue at hand, then this post is certainly for you! All the same, I believe that you should try to handle things at your end first, but if after your effort, there isn’t much change then this should be a last resort.

1. Don’t be on the Attack

When trying to approach a coworker concerning an issue, don’t come off as an attacker. Talk to the person based on how you feel their actions are affecting you. This has to do with how you phrase your statements.

So instead of saying: “You have been micromanaging me and making me lose focus at work.”

Say something that seems fair and can start the conversation on a good note: “I feel that I will be able to do a better job if I’m given more time or autonomy to make decisions and revert.”

Speak from your own perspective not that of the co-worker. This person may not be aware of how you feel and may be acting neutral. Don’t attack this person so that you can have a good meeting and leave productive.

2. Make your Point Once and avoid Repetition

Some people are not happy to have you repeating the same thing over and over again as it could come off as you being rude or nagging. Make your point known and relay your message as simply as possible.

Allow the other person speak and be willing to listen attentively to understand his/ her own perspective. Don’t listen to be defensive.

3. Put on your ‘Real Person’ Behavior

Being personal goes a long way because, at the end of the day, you are working in an organization with people who have real feelings. Be real and ready to inspire this person so that you can indeed make him/ her see things from your own point.

Be friendly and never forget to be polite. Smile. Smile. Smile again. To relay your message you shouldn’t be hostile.

4. Understand the Co-worker

You need to do some homework, at least from your end and know the person’s personality. It’s not enough to want to discuss a situation but you should know the better way to approach this person.

Will it be better to meet at a private room? Does this person value privacy over any other thing? Will it be better to talk to him/ her after working hours? These and more are things to consider.

5. Listen

Often times, listening to the other person speak can be very tricky. You think you are listening when in actual fact you are just hearing.

To listen actively, pay attention to what the person is saying in response to you. Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal, pay attention to body language. Avoid interrupting the co-worker when speaking and wait for him/ her to finish speaking before you respond.

Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say….?” “Is this what you mean?” “What I understand from what you are saying is..”

I really hope that these tips have been helpful in helping you approach a colleague if that’s your last resort.

For any questions, or if you need to speak on any matter, please send an email to [email protected] and I’ll be glad to respond. I receive several emails from you all and I’m always happy to be of help in anyway!

Not yet subscribed? Subscribe here.