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Perfecting Communication In The Workplace

International Railway Summit

Whether you’re preparing for a job interview or a big presentation at your current workplace, communication is an essential key to success.  Career coach and workplace contributor Sasha M. King shares her advice on rhetoric to avoid, styles to try and professional communication standards.

King says “up-talking” is one common bad habit for individuals with communication issues. She suggests staying away from the “valley girl speech pattern” and sticking with a level, calm voice.

“When you have to bring up a difficult subject, it’s better to make levity of it, but what instead it does is it takes away from some of the strength of the argument you’re trying to make.”

Filler speech, or, using “uh,” “um,” “like” and “you know” excessively, is also to be avoided, according to King.  She points out that highly educated individuals often have trouble reigning in what she calls a “superiority syndrome.”  These people, she says, often cut off others mid-speech and end up looking pretentious. 

“Speed racer” is another problem in the workplace.  King says a pregnant pause within a speech can make the message more effective. She also warns of differences between generational communication styles.  Older individuals may want a face-to-face or phone conversation while Gen Xer’s may prefer an email and Millennials may respond better to texting.  On that note, she recommends always personalizing your voicemail and email signatures to ensure you’re perceived as a professional.

Part of King’s career coaching often includes social media awareness and training. She says it’s surprising how many people aren’t aware that their actions online can affect their careers.  Instead of ranting about your company or coworkers, King notes that kindness and positivity can go a long way.

“The more you share positive content, the more you really are going to get a better reputation online socially for what you can do.”

Stay away from derogatory comments regarding race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender.  Unfortunately, she says, she’s seen over two dozen people lose their jobs based on social media action. She says conducting an audit of sorts at the end of each year will guarantee that your online presence is consistent and professional.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.