When you’re a mom and also someone who has a career, communication skills are key. Of course, communication is important for everyone, but women who want to get ahead in the workplace and also want to have a good, healthy relationship with their family members often prioritize good communication skills.
Regarding family dynamics, you want to be able to communicate with your children in a way that gets your point across, and you also want to be able to speak with your partner similarly. When you’re at work, you want to be authoritative, and you want to be in control, but you still want to come off as working well with others and being cooperative.
The following are some communication tips for working moms, whether they’re at home or in the office.
Dealing with Anger
First and foremost, having open lines of communication with your spouse or partner is so important. Yet, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have arguments or disagreements. In fact, quite the opposite is true. In most healthy relationships you are going to have disagreements, but how you handle them is critical.
When you’re having a disagreement with your spouse or partner focus on the specific issue at hand. You may tend to get mad and then want to bring up every single issue that you’ve felt has occurred during the course of your relationship. This does nothing but muddy your point.
Stay laser-focused on what you want to talk about or get across at that specific moment.
Trying to understand your partner’s perspective is important as well, even if you don’t agree with it. Knowing what’s motivating someone can help you more effectively get your own point across.
When you are communicating with your family in a normal day-to-day way, outside of the confines of a disagreement, there are things you can do to improve communication as well. This includes how you communicate with not only your spouse but your children.
One rule for communication that may work well in your family dynamic is called the 80/20 rule. What this means is that you’re listening far more than you’re talking. Spend 80 percent of the time you are with your kids listening and 20 percent talking. The same rule can be effective with your spouse as well.
When you’re a parent, it can be easy to feel like you want to react to something your children say immediately without really thinking or evaluating it, especially if you’re angry. Take a chance to let your child finish their thought, then give yourself some time to process it before responding.
So what about better communication in the workplace? As a working mom you want to be confident and assertive in the workplace, but how can you do this effectively?
One of the rules for effective workplace communication is the same as what you should keep in mind when it comes to communicating with your partner and family: listening.
Listening at work is so important and yet it’s overlooked by many people. If you’re sharing your thoughts and opinions without listening to others, it’s not going to bring value and it can be off-putting to your co-workers and even your boss.
There’s a concept called active listening that’s especially important at work. With active listening, you’re not just listening, but you’re engaged in what the other person is saying, and when necessary you’re asking questions to get a better sense of understanding as far as what they’re conveying.
Workplace communication should also be concise, meaningful and to-the-point. Don’t say more than is necessary to get across the point you’re trying to make. If you talk too much and your words don’t have meaning, then the person you’re speaking to won’t likely take much from the conversation.
To display a sense of confidence, you can use nonverbal cues such as good eye contact and an authoritative tone. Other considerations for good nonverbal communication cues include making sure you have good posture, and avoiding folding your arms or seeming to make yourself take up less space. Sometimes women in the workplace may make the communication mistake of phrasing statements as questions, and that’s something to avoid.
Finally, for good workplace communication, think about the form of communication you’re using. If something can be done by email and you can communicate your point quickly and clearly, do that. If something is better done in person, for example, you want to discuss a salary increase, then make sure that’s the route you take.