7 verbal communication tips to help you integrate in the workplace

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How to speak better in the workplace: 7 tips

Speaking better at work will help you belong to the team faster. Follow these tips:

  1. Don’t worry about grammar

    You don’t need perfect grammar to speak. You just need to make sense and speak clearly. Don’t speak too fast. Always practice speaking. The more you practice the better you’ll get.

  2. Communicate the Canadian way

    Canadian communication is:

    • Clear – Choose simple words.
    • Brief – Keep your sentences short.
    • Logical – Say the most important thing first.
    • Polite – Use words that are respectful. (Examples: “Please”, “Thank you”, “Will you please?”)
  3. Pronounce words clearly

    Speak at the right pace. Pause in between ideas or “thought groups” in a sentence. Don’t say “umm,” or laugh to hide your nervousness. Don’t worry about your accent! Manitobans are used to hearing accents.

  4. Ask when you don’t know

    Asking questions is expected when you are new. Your supervisor and colleagues like this because it shows that you want to make sure that you will do a good job. Ask right away rather than making a mistake. Mistakes result in wasting time, effort and money.

  5. Seek feedback

    Ask for comments from your supervisor or colleagues. Your supervisor will also give you a performance review. It’s good to know what you are doing well and what needs improvement.

    Many Canadians will give you a “feedback sandwich”. This is when a negative feedback is said between two positive statements. Read 5 steps to giving constructive feedback at work that really helps for examples.

    Seek a language coach or a mentor if you want feedback about your communication skills.

  6. Master English

    Never stop learning English. Learning English is a continuous commitment. This is necessary if you want to move up in your career.

  7. Learn from your mistakes and stay positive

    You will experience many awkward situations in your first months as a newcomer. This is normal. It is part of integrating into the workplace. Don’t be hard on yourself and stay positive. Study your mistake, learn the lesson, and apply it the next time you are in a similar situation.

Practice these seven tips and start speaking more in your workplace. Your ideas, suggestions, and questions are valuable. Your company will benefit from your diverse experience. Share your thoughts and start speaking up! This will show your boss and co-workers that you are a committed team member.

Adapted from Workplace Integration – A Desk Reference for Newcomers to Canada by Paul Holmes 2012. Published through Anthony & Holmes Consulting Ltd. and the Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society.

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Community Resources

Read Speaking up at work: 4 tips to make your voice heard for more tips.

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