No entrepreneur doubts that excellent communication is key to success and nowhere is this seen as more important than in the workplace.

If you want to get the best out of your staff and push your business forward, communicating and engaging highly effectively should be top of your list of skills to nail down.

According to personal development coach Brian Tracy:

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”

Learn to listen

Most of us think we have decent listening skills, unfortunately the truth is in fact quite the opposite.

It’s one thing to hear, it’s another to really listen and understand.

This is something entrepreneurs and bosses need to work at and get right.

It’s not simply about the words a person uses, but their context, the way something is said, who the information is coming from and what it means for your business.

Be communication-friendly

If you want to increase the number of people who come forward and engage in good conversation, you need to be predisposed towards it.

Better communication can improve productivity and morale in the office and that involves the boss or manager setting a clear example.

Making it a priority and allowing it in the workplace, even if you sometimes don’t like what is being said, is vital.

Be diplomatic

There are conflicts and heated exchanges in many offices around the world and the art of dealing with them has diplomacy at its core.

Responding to issues with an open mind and, perhaps more importantly, without your ego getting in the way can be difficult.

But it is a key characteristic of any leader who wants show the way and find resolutions that work.

Strong and regular feedback

Effective communication depends on being honest, particularly if you are giving feedback to your staff.

That doesn’t just mean bringing people in for formal feedback sessions, simply letting your hardworking employees know that you appreciate their efforts can be just as good.

If there is a problem to address and negative feedback is on the cards, make it as clear as possible and try to find solutions that can help everyone move forward profitably.

Conquer your emotions

In an ideal world, we would all get on.

In busy offices, there’s no doubt that someone, at some point is going to get under your skin.

Taking your emotions out of the equation is not easy but needs to be done if you want to get the best out of staff.

It’s easy for people to take criticism or comments the wrong way, especially if they feel under pressure, and you are no exception.

Making work fun

We all communicate better if we are in an environment that allows for it.

If your workplace is highly pressurised and everyone is too afraid to open their mouths for fear of reprisal, then you have a problem.

Finding ways to make working for your company more exciting, engaging and fun not only means that people start talking to each other, but also ensures the kind of relationships that improves productivity and performance.

Open your door

Finally, business owners and managers can seem aloof or set apart from the rest of the world.

Leaving your door open sends a message that you are part of the team, not standing somewhere above or apart from it.