How we communicate in the office is crucial to productivity, morale and employee engagement.

But we don’t always do it optimally – especially when it comes to meetings and advocating for ourselves.

Here are some ways to break down the communication barriers.

How to run the perfect meeting

Meetings get a bad reputation. We have too many, they’re long and there’s always that one person that just goes on and on.

Here’s the thing: Meetings are necessary – but they have to be done right. The key is to keep the invite list short by only including people to whom the subject matter of the meeting is relevant.

Always walk into the room with an agenda (and stick to it) and don’t walk out of the meeting without getting broad participation and having clear calls of action with specific deadlines.

And remember: Just because you are the facilitator of a meeting, doesn’t always mean you should be the main voice being heard.

Read more here about how to run an effective meeting.

Stop getting interrupted

Now you know how to run the perfect meeting. But you can’t always control other people’s actions – especially when it comes to interruptions.

Getting interrupted in a meeting can leave you feeling flustered and mad – but there are ways to regain the floor without making the situation worse.

The main thing is to stay positive. Try saying the person’s name and how you appreciate the insight, but you would like to finish your thought.

It’s also helpful to have a few go-to phrases keyed up to avoid getting derailed from an interruption.

Here are more tips on how to handle it the next time someone interrupts you in a meeting.

Get the recognition you deserve

Coming off as a braggart isn’t a good look. But it’s also important for your professional advancement to get recognition for your contributions.

If you feel like you aren’t getting credit for your hard work, there are ways to tactfully get the accolades you deserve.

Regular check-ins with your manager create the perfect setting for progress updates and to articulate what you’ve been working on.

And don’t be scared to spread the love yourself. When you acknowledge and celebrate your peer’s achievements, they will be more likely to return the favor.

Here’s how to get the credit you deserve at work, without bragging

If someone is stealing your hard work…

You know what’s worse than a braggart? A credit hog.

We’ve already established that getting proper recognition for your work is a big part of climbing the career ladder – but what happens when someone is taking credit for your work?

If it’s a colleague who’s grabbing all the praise, be protective of your ideas and avoid sharing them in a private setting. Documenting everyone’s contributions in a meeting can also be effective.

If someone is a known spotlight stealer, make sure to set some ground rules upfront before working together.

But if it’s your boss who’s stealing all your thunder, you have to tread a little more lightly. Here’s what to do.