Being able to communicate effectively is maybe the most important of all life skills. Communication is the interaction between two or more people. It enables us to pass information, messages, and understand what is said to us. It may be written, verbally, visually or non-vocally (using body language and gestures). Some people also have a habit of communicating with non-living beings (plants, mirror, toys, mannequins, idols, etc.). In simple words, communication is the act of transferring information from one to another.
Improving your communication skills can assist you in every aspect of your life, right from social gatherings to professional life and everything in between. If you have the ability to communicate effectively, then it can be a win-on-win situation for the moment for you. It is very crucial to present information or the words you meant precisely, clearly, and as intended in your professional life. As someone said, it is never too late to learn; similarly, it is never too late to work on your communication skills.
Importance of communication skills in your career:
Professionally, whether you are looking out for jobs or seeking a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate excellent communication skills. When there is a failure in communications, often morale, efficiency and objectives can all suffer. A number of problems root due to poor communication, and there’s no wonder why, really. Proper communication is not taught in school; it is something, we have to ‘pick up’ from the people around us. In today’s competitive market, communication skills in the business world are highly sought after, with recruiters looking for candidates who can efficiently communicate with the customers. Luckily, if we have good communicators in our close circle, it is less likely to pick up bad habits.
Good communication skills can be done through various methods- adapting your language to your audience, demonstrating a varied vocabulary, presenting your ideas appropriately, listening carefully, writing clearly and concisely, putting others at ease and many other. These are all valuable attributes to possess.
It is quite challenging to communicate non-verbally, then talking verbally. Therefore, non-verbal communication skills are also fundamental to understand and use and interpret. You must enjoy solid, trusting relationships, both socially and professionally. Non-verbal communication includes maintaining good eye contact, facial expressions, body gesture and postures, and the space between the speaker and listener. It is observed that your stress have a huge impact on your communication skills. When your stress levels are under control, you will be sending POSITIVE nonverbal signals encouraging the communication. Make eye contact with your speaker/ listener to let him know that he has your full attention. Ensure to provide the right personal space to both the speaker and listener to feel comfortable during the communication.
However, how do you know if you are good at communicating with others? Most of you must be thinking you are but are you really?
I have made it my business to learn a thing or two regarding communication skills, and I will share a few crucial things with you today.
When you think of what are the most important communication skills for your career? You may find these below 16 essential ways to succeed in the early days of career and particularly thereafter. Check out if you possess the below-mentioned skills.
This is one of the most significant communication skills that every young professional need to learn. It teaches how to clear when you communicate with others. Clarity helps prevent misunderstandings and increases the probability of successful relationships, and it will help employees maintain a professional demeanour.
Misunderstandings not only cause conflicts but also significantly affect your business. Ensure to be direct and concise as you communicate with customers, co-workers, and particularly your employer. Avoid providing unnecessary general information and be particularly clear about what you want to say. In short, stop beating around the bush, be as precise in words as you can when you communicate with others.
Respect your co-workers and their role in your career. Before you enter the workforce, ensure you understand that respecting others is important. This will help you maintain a smooth relationship with others, your reputation, and it can even impact your success with career advancements. Speak in an appropriate and professional tone, learn your boundaries, and try to respect others even if you do not agree with their personal opinion.
Listening to other’s needs, concerns, beliefs, and opinions can provide great insight into the direction. You will be able to your boss or a potential client. Being a good listener, considering other co-workers is also an effective way to maintain a healthy relationship. Because excellent listening skills are most valued communication skills found in the workplace today. People are more interested in sharing their own opinions instead of listening to other’s need.
This type of communication is very important, rare and tricky. Not everyone possesses it. However, if you take this type of communication skills training and learn the basics, it won’t be hard for you. Empathy shows acknowledgement and concern toward other people. You get to know the needs or interests of people around you, and it’s a great way to maintain good relationships. There’s a thin line between empathy and overstepping the professional relationship boundary. Empathy is mostly under looked, but if you master it, it’s the most valuable communication skills.
- Choose appropriate words:
When you are having a conversation with someone, make sure to choose words that will really symbolize what you mean. Not matter if you are writing something or merely talking to someone, the selection of your words should be very precise. Choosing the right words will enable the reader or listener to understand appropriately and won’t feel offended or misjudged. You may make use of jargons, but the main point of communication is “understanding”- will be lost.
- Speaking in public:
Learning how to speak more comfortably in front of large groups of people, such as at seminars or in conferences is another important communication skill. With confidence, duly delivering your thoughts is important and valuable speaking skills for your career. You should learn to overcome stage fear because at least once in your career life, you need to stand in front of a massive audience and be open up.
Don’t keep any agenda while entering into communications. Strong communications require an open-minded and a commitment to understanding other people’s points of view. If you do not agree with the people you are speaking to, try to reach a middle ground that benefits all parties. Discussing with an open mind is more likely to result in a successful outcome.
- Maintain positivity:
When having a conversation with others, you should always remain positive demeanour. Refrain from being negative or automatically dismissing someone else’s ideas. Take new assignments positively, enthusiastically and willingly. Positivity is also an important trait that employers look for when hiring new employees.
Displaying confidence is also a crucial trait in the workplace. It can come off in many different ways, many of which aren’t the most ideal. Showcasing the right type of audience can help you appear both responsible and professional.
- Be Open to Reciprocal Feedback:
To make most out of feedback, be clear to all parties involved. It won’t be helpful to anyone to simply response “fix this” to a submitted project. In order to be effective, feedback requires to be clear and detailed. It will be a plus point if it’s documented publicly and respectfully so that everyone else can learn from it. Start accepting feedbacks, too! No individual is perfect, so it is obvious to get a slight constructive criticism now and again.
- Stick to the point:
For verbal and written communication, practice to explain in brief yet stick to the point. It is also one of the important communication skills as you are conveying information or message to others to make people understand what you want to say. Or else, if you are responding to an email, ensure that you read the entire email first and only than craft your response. When practiced enough, you will learn not to ramble, or give way too much information.
- Give a call:
If you have a lot to say, then send a text message or an email, or simply give a call to that person instead. Email is great, but sometimes telling verbally what you want to say is a more natural way to communicate.
- Take notes:
Write down things while someone is assigning you some work, having an important conversation, or when you are in a meeting and do not rely on your memory. Doing so can ensure that no important point is missed out by you and your work is up to the mark. Also, send a follow-up email to ensure that you understand what was being said during the conversation.
- Pitch of voice:
The pitch of your voice can set the whole mood of the conversation. If you start the discussion in an unhelpful or aggressive manner, the recipient will be more inclined to respond in a similar way. Be as polite as you can while speaking, because an unfriendly tone of voice will only serve to worsen the situation. The tone of your voice tells you how healthy the conversation can be, which include emotion, volume and the level of communication you choose. The same sentence can have a different meaning, depending on which words are emphasized.
- Be a good listener:
Not just a good speaker, but you must also be a good listener. It is a sign of effective communication. Take proper time to listen to what the other person is saying and practice active listening. Pay attention to what the others are saying, ask questions and clarify points.
- Body language:
Ensure that you appear accessible, so have open body language. This is especially important for face-to-face meetings and video conferencing. You must not cross your arms and keep eye contact so that the other person knows that you are paying attention.
- Emotional Intelligence:
Last but not least is emotional intelligence, one of the most important communication skills. It is the ability to manage and understand your emotions so as to communicate effectively, avoid stress, overcome challenges and empathize with others. There are four main elements to emotional intelligence- self-management, self-awareness, social awareness and relationship management. Emotional intelligence skill allows you to communicate confidently with a variety of people and can be learned over time rather than obtained.
Communicating clearly is one of the most useful skills you can cultivate in your career. By utilizing some (or all) of these tips, you can enhance your communication skills at the workplace. These skills provide you with more tools to become the best employee you can be, as well as they’ll carry you a long way in your career. They are just as much as learning a new trade or getting a degree. These factors lead to improved work quality, increased satisfaction from your co-workers or customers and better control over your business.
Keep in mind to communicate in nonverbal and verbal cues. Carefully listen to what others have to say, and over-communicate in novel ways to make sure the content of conversation sticks with the audience. So far, you must have understood that having strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly, in your career. Good communication helps create positive experiences with those we interact with.
Furthermore, our communication skills are a significant determinant of our success. If we develop the right communications skills and use it effectively, you won’t have to stop from becoming successful. There are numerous other tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here, we have reviewed some of them as to how to improve communication skills for your career. Good luck!
About the author:
Rohit Chandiramani is the CEO of London Business Training & Consulting. Having completed his MBA, not only is Rohit a student of Business and Management, but through his firm has also facilitated the delivery of the subject matter to hundreds of learners over the years. A regular trekker, he likes to scale greater heights in the Himalayas, and in the world of business.