Colleague Communication

Posted: 24 February 2017 at 2:24 pm | Author: Laura Morris

You may have seen our recent article on the importance of telephone etiquette? It is important to remember that many of the same factors also apply when communicating with colleagues. Good working relationships are a must in helping to ensure a positive working environment.


“It’s not what you said, but the way you said it!” This might sound childish but there is an element of truth in this familiar saying. Make sure you’re not coming across as sarcastic or aggressive. Think of the response in a conversation “really?” The tone in which this is said could potentially convey disdain or disbelief at someone’s stupidity. It could alternatively denote amazement and how impressed you are.


When communicating with a colleague be sure to give them 100% of your attention. This means not checking your telephone, not clicking on any incoming emails or continuing to eat the packet of crisps you’re snacking on at your desk! Having common courtesy also refers to being sensitive to your colleagues needs, this may mean their own priorities. Before starting a conversation with your co-worker perhaps check that they have a moment for you rather that jumping in with your own needs.


Understand that your colleagues may have different priorities to you, respect their time. Make sure that your communication is concise and relevant. Sometimes you may find yourself caught up in an email chain or a face-to-face meeting where you might be thinking how unnecessary it is to you. Make sure you are not a culprit of this yourself by being aware of what others roles are.

Also respect that other people may have a different point of view to your own. Ensure that any criticism or guidance given is constructive. Always be sure to listen to what other people have to say – regardless of their position with the company and not to talk over or disregard their comments.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence includes being able to recognise and control your own emotions whilst being able to understand and respond to others emotional needs appropriately. If you know that someone is having a tough time personally or that they have just been given an urgent project then it might be sensible to choose the time to approach them wisely.

Similarly, if you are having a bad day and then a colleague asks you a question, make sure you’re not rude or short with them!

Having a high level of emotional intelligence means that you can know when extra support is perhaps needs to be provided for your co-workers. An awareness of other people’s perspective is essential. This not only includes their emotional state but also their level of knowledge. As a general rule avoid the abbreviations and technical jargon to a minimum when speaking to someone who may not be as well versed in your subject. Using complicated terms won’t impress anyone, understanding your audience will!


Communicating effectively with your colleagues is particularly important for those within a leadership position. To find out more about our next leadership & management course call on 01480 275500 or find out more on our website.

More Articles

Course Search

Cookie Consent

This site uses cookies and HTML5 local storage, to help improve our service to you.

Click 'Accept' to continue with these settings or 'Read more' to amend your local data preferences.

I'm fine with this Just give me live chat Find our more / turn off