Effective communication is essential for teamwork and building relationships in the workplace. Practicing timely, positive, clear, detailed, and open-minded communication skills are foundational to successful communications.
On Friday, February 4th, 2022, The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition provided a virtual Professional Communications Workshop to Go for HCS Head Start, led by JSI instructor Lynnea Spencer, MEd, RDN, LDN, SNS. The participants learned about the many benefits of effective communication and its application in the workplace in this fun and interactive workshop.
Every person is unique, and so is their communication style, abilities, and skills. We communicate verbally, through writing, and even with our body language. During the workshop the staff participated in several activities, including one about interpretation where different images of facial expressions were shown. They were asked to state how the person in the image might be feeling or thinking. This activity allowed the group to recognize and deepen their understanding of the role of nonverbal communication.
It is important to address and assess possible barriers to successful communication, and how to overcome them. To recognize such barriers or misunderstandings, participants watched a fun video to emphasize the importance of clear written instruction, in this example, how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The video showed how people can interpret messages in many ways but using good written communication skills will help convey a message the way you want to be understood.
Participants were introduced to the four different communication styles: analytical, functional, intuitive, and personal. They gathered in Zoom “breakout rooms” according to the style they identified with, to discuss the benefits and challenges related to their particular style.
The HCS Head Start staff also took part in a group discussion using case scenarios to explore how to address misunderstandings, workplace issues, as well as conflict resolution and solving confusions. Participants applied their professional communication skills through the discussion of appropriate responses and course of action for the given scenarios.
Efficient and active communication practices aid in the success of workplace function. It is beneficial to embrace diversity as well as differences in input and opinions for the most effective collaboration in the workplace. If you are interested in hosting a Workshop to Go, like Professional Communication, please visit the JSI website for more information.