Communicating professionally is an essential part of workplace etiquette. It can be difficult to keep your emotions in check, especially when things are busy and stressful. But how you communicate with co-workers and superiors can truly make or break your career. Are you communicating professionally? Take this quiz and find out!
Review the following statements and pick the answer that describes you best. You may not find an answer that matches your feelings exactly, so just choose the one that’s closest.
1. When things at work upset me, I…
a) Hide in the bathroom to cry.
b) Make sure everyone around me knows I’m upset – even if it means getting in arguments or tense confrontations.
c) Wait until my emotions have calmed down and then try to discuss it rationally with someone who can help the situation.
2. When I participate in group projects, I…
a) Just go along with what everyone else wants to do. I don’t usually contribute even if I think I have a good idea.
b) Make sure my ideas are the ones used. I like to be the leader so I’m pretty good at persuading others to see things my way.
c) Contribute ideas and opinions but listen to others as well. I want the group to use the best idea, even if it’s not mine.
3. If I have a conflict with a co-worker, I…
a) Try to ignore it and do my best to make them like me.
b) Confront them right away. I deserve to be respected by my co-workers.
c) Ask the co-worker how we can make things better, freely admit any wrong doing on my part, and ask for support from a trusted superior.
4. If a client gets irate about something silly and out of my control, I…
a) Apologize profusely and allow them to do and say what they like (even if it’s rude or insulting). After all, they’re the customer.
b) Tell them it’s not my fault and it’s unacceptable to treat me that way. We don’t need that kind of business.
c) Calmly explain what I can do to help improve the situation. I do my best to keep the conversation professional at all times. I don’t let my emotions get involved.
5. When my boss confronts me about a mistake I’ve made, I…
a) Feel ashamed and embarrassed. I make excuses and sometimes, I have to hold back tears.
b) I tell him it wasn’t my fault and then later, gossip with my co-workers about how much I hate him.
c) I apologize and listen to his feedback. I take his comments to heart and explain what I will do to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again.
Count the number of A’s, B’s and C’s you have.
If A’s appear most on your list:
It look like you are a very sensitive person and your emotions sometimes get the better of you. Remember that professional communication means putting aside your emotions. Try to be strong. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion – your thoughts are worth sharing. Hiding in the corner and allowing others to make all the decisions won’t get you anywhere. And remember that you deserve respect. If people are taking advantage of you or walking on you, speak up for yourself. You don’t have to sit by silently and accept it. With professional communication, you’ll be free to voice your thoughts, feelings and concerns to co-workers and superiors. And you’ll be surprised at how wonderful that feels!
If B’s appear most on your list:
Well, here’s the good news: you aren’t afraid of communicating your thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, you might go about it in the wrong way at times. Your abrupt approach may come off as defensive, arrogant, angry or unprofessional. Remember that it’s important to have a voice, but it’s equally important to use that voice wisely, and in a controlled way.
Communication is most effective in the workplace when it’s done with respect and consideration for others. Build your professional communication skills by reading the following articles:
If C’s appear most on your list:
Congratulations! It appears you have some very professional communication skills. You know how to take emotion out of the situation and deal only in facts. You are able to voice your opinions without being forceful. It seems you listen well to others, even when they’re providing negative feedback. Your professional communication style will serve you well in your career. Continue to practice and perfect these skills in the future.