Effective Communication Skills
No matter what we do in our working life, we are communicating on some level every day.
Whether by speaking, writing, questioning, or listening our personal communication skills are continually called into action.
Do you have effective communication skills? Do you really consider how you communicate, what you say, how you process information?
What difference does developing and practicing good communication in the workplace make?
In this article, we address this question, under the following sections:
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Why are Effective Communication Skills so Important?
The ability to communicate well impacts every level of your personal and professional life.
Once you master how to converse clearly, listen attentively, and address conflict, you'll find that every area of your day-to-day life improves.
"Surely I already have the communication skills I need?"
We are constantly communicating, but often we don't pay enough attention to developing our existing skills to ensure they are doing the best job.
This begs the question, "What are effective communication skills?".
Clarity in communication is more difficult than it sounds. You may think you're being clear, but others may pick up the wrong meaning or miss the point of your message.
Active listening is one of the most underrated communication skills, yet it is one of the most valuable tools for communication you can possess.
How many of us are not really listening, but waiting for our turn to speak? How often do you lose the thread of what someone says because you're busy thinking of your reply?
Another key factor in effective communication skills in the workplace is handling tricky or sensitive situations.
Walking the line between assertive and aggressive is a learned skill, and one that can mean the difference between confusion and frustration or a positive outcome.
Now that we know the foundations of great communication, let’s look at how they can make your working life better…
4 Benefits of Great Communication Skills
Strengthening your communication skills will have a positive impact on your entire working life. Here are just 4 of the ways it does this:
1. Achieve More
Misunderstandings and the inability to express ideas can waste time, cause confusion, and hold us back from achieving our goals.
Through developing the ability to communicate clearly, you will get more done faster and with better accuracy.
2. Lower Your Stress Levels
When you communicate your needs and ask the right questions, you'll feel in control.
Learning how to be appropriately assertive enables you to stay calm in situations that may have previously caused significant stress.
3. Improve Your Interpersonal and Business Relationships
So much of our interpersonal dealings boil down to understanding and being understood.
Through good communication, you will easily build better rapport and smoother working relationships with co-workers and clients.
4. Get Confidence to Handle any Situation
Unfortunately, conflict and awkward conversations are unavoidable, no matter how hard you try.
Improved communication skills enable you to address conflict with confidence.
Through having a reassuring set of techniques for tackling difficult conversations, you will feel sure of yourself and be able to navigate these situations well.
6 ways to improve how you communicate today
Here are our 6 quick tips for enhancing your communication skills right now:
Think Before You Speak
Before you speak, take a beat to think about the point you want to get across. Keep this in mind as you communicate.
Check Non-Verbal Signals
Check your nonverbal signals. Are you frowning or crossing your arms?
Practise active listening - maintain focus on what the speaker is saying and express interest as they talk.
Think about how what you’re saying may be interpreted by others.
Keep it Simple
Keep your message simple and use clear, straightforward language.
Build Your Toolkit
Build a strong toolkit of versatile, effective communication skills by attending training.