10 Top Professional Communication and Dress Tips for the Workplace

For many young freshly employed individuals they find it not too easy to adapt from an undergraduate life of informal dress style and unprofessional communication habits to a life where every word matters in the office setting and the dress sense assumes greater important in determining how well you get along with superiors and associates.

If you have been the relaxed type dress and communication wise you may need to step up on both areas if you are looking to take advantage of the opportunities in your new workplace. Aside from your work performance your communication and personal presentation are the other important factors that can help you on your way up the career ladder.

Here are ten ideas on getting ahead with your dressing and communication skills at the office

1. Simpler is Better

When it comes to dressing for the office it is better you avoid over dressing. Have simple, good looking clothes like troussers, well-sown shirts, T-shirts (for casual dress days), and for the ladies you could look good with nice pairs of suit pants, good-looking skirts (a little above knee level) and smart looking tops. The key is to always put on something you feel comfortable and confident in while taking into account how you want others to address you.

2. Get Your Clothes Ready the Night Before

Sometimes when you wait till morning before you get out the clothes you want to wear you end up being in a hurry and fail to put the clothes in order. Taking a few minutes before you go to bed to take a look at your wardrobe and decide what to wear the next morning helps. You can use that time to choose the best combination and put the clothes in order for the next day.

3. Never Interrupt Others

During official meetings and informal sessions it’s never good to be seen as interrupting collegaues and shouting down others with opposing views. Even if you have a burning urge to come up with a view learn to let others finish with their talk before letting out what you think. Let your colleagues know you as someone who understands the rules of inter-office communication

4. Never Get Involved in Talks Where You Aren’t Invited

I have seen a colleague get mad with another co-worker for jumping into a discussion the former was having with a superior. Habits such as these don’t paint a good picture of the rude individual. Only get into talks when you are co-opted in or asked.

5. Keep Your Ears Open and Your Mouth Shut

This is like an advice the Mob or Mafia gives its new members. If you are new in an office and you are soon seen to run your mouth whenever you discover anything you will quickly lose the confidence of your colleagues. Your ability to take in information from all angles and still keep your head and of course your mouth shut will determine how well you cope with the office politics. It’s a rule most performers know too well.

6. Don’t Delay in Responding to Communication

Whether it be an email sent from your department’s head or a phone call from a colleague you should be prompt in responding to enquiries or requests from team members. Don’t keep the boss waiting for the monthly report he requested for. Dispatch all pending messages on your email folder. It helps to be known as someone who responds promptly to requests and issues.

7. Learn to Be a Good Listener

Sometimes your boss or a colleague might just call you in and talk about something bothering him or her. A minute into his talk you might think you understand what the issue is and want to chip in with your own 10 kobo advice. Sometimes you may realise that it is better to be a patient listener than a ready talker. People will feel better if they notice you have a keen interest in hearing what they have to say. Listen to people when they talk to you. Later when they are donw give them your response if you have any to give; sometimes your attention is even all they want.

8. Focus Your Communication

This is another polished way of saying ‘Don”t talk crap’. Contribute in meetings only when you have something relevant to the issue being discussed. Otherwise don’t talk just to be heard. When you build a reputation for making rich and weighty contributions everyone (even your bosses) will listen when you raise a hand to talk.

9. Stick with closed toes.

Whatever shoes you wear, don’t do open-toed. Wearing closed toe footwears save you the worry or looming embarassment if you turn up one day with non-pedicured toe nails. Wearing open toes could look weird with the wrong tights. With closed toes footwear there is just one less thing to question.

10. Always Be Constructive

Being constructive here means knowing when to act in line with the events and moods around you. It may not be appropriate to be positive or cheery in all situations. A good example of this is when someone gets laid off or your team misses a goal.

Having a constructive attitude towards both good and bad situations portrays a good balance of professionalism and humanity. It shows that you understand and recognize that things are tough, but things still need to be done.

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One Comment

  1. Bamidele says:

    Impressive piece. Weldone.

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