Beyond the text: Communication and Gen Z – Part three: Interacting in the workplace

Posted October 19, 2015 by

Part 3 of the webinar series Beyond the text: Communication and Gen Z, “Interacting in the Workplace” explains the vital role of communication in the modern workplace and prepares college students and recent graduates to adapt from the college setting to the business environment. Part 3 of this webinar will make the process of transitioning from college to the workplace a smoother one as students and graduates understand the importance of quality communication and gain practical tips and insights.

This three-part webinar series, Beyond text: Communication and Gen Z, is hosted by Andrea McEwen Henderson (, former National Account Manager for College Recruiter, and features Bethany Wallace (, English Instructor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Bethany serves as College Recruiter’s part-time Content Manager and will join the team full-time in 2016.

3 Key Takeaways:

  1. Audience members will discern the difference between workplace communication and communication in other settings.
  2. Audience members will identify important characteristics of quality workplace communication.
  3. Audience members will compile a helpful list of tips and suggestions related to successful workplace communication.

If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

How is communicating in the workplace different than communicating in other settings?

The setting is different, of course. You’re at work. So use a professional tone when interacting with everyone.

What are the most important characteristics of effective workplace communication?

  • Behaving with basic respect and courtesy for others. Treat others as you’d like to be treated!.
  • Think and act collectively when possible. Collaboration is in—hoarding responsibilities, information, and talent is out.
  • Encourage others. When people do great things, share the good news, and congratulate people verbally. The #1 reason people leave their jobs is because they “do not feel appreciated,” according to US Department of Labor.
  • Be honest but use discretion and kindness when delivering information and news to others.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal communication, and use your own nonverbal skills to communicate, too.
  • Listening. General managers ranked listening as the most important communication behavior from a list of 8 possibilities in a survey in 2009.

Technology plays a big role in almost every workplace setting today. How should we effectively utilize technology when communicating in the workplace?

Let go of devices when in meetings (unless it’s appropriate to the company culture where you work to utilize devices in meetings and workshops) or even when you stop by someone’s office. People feel valued when you give them your undivided attention.

What are a few common workplace pitfalls to be avoided?

  • Manage time effectively while still investing in the lives of others/networking.
  • You can’t jump right into conversations about work and serious matters with most people.
  • When there’s a break in communication, resolve conflict as quickly as possible. Attempt to be assertive when resolving conflict, and be proactive. Do not stick your head in the sand like an ostrich, hoping the problem will resolve itself.
  • Avoid letting your ego shine in the workplace, even if you have one and truly think you’re always right.
  • Attempt to keep your emotions in check, at least to an extent.
  • Silence is golden. Remember you can never take back what’s been said once you say it.

How can college students and new hires prepare and improve in terms of communication and interaction in the workplace?

  • Find a career mentor. Even if your workplace provides a mentoring program, you might want to ask someone outside your company to mentor you, too.
  • Get involved in committees and company events if your schedule permits. This can ease the transition from college to work.
  • Know yourself and how you interact. Gain self-awareness. Take a basic personality inventory (MBTI, DISC assessment, etc.); career services can help with this matter.
  • Maintain positive relationships with everyone as much as it depends upon you.
  • As in writing and public speaking, know your audience. Keep your professional life as professional as possible.
  • Mind your own business. This helps you be a) more productive and b) trustworthy.

Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, and English Instructor at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, looks forward to joining the College Recruiter team full-time in 2016. Follow Bethany on Twitter at @wallacembethany, on LinkedIn at, or on WordPress at

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