How important is strong communication skill? Does it play a role in your overall career?
Communication is the lifeblood of any human interaction, and that includes your workplace. Notice how strong communication skills are always on the list of the primary skills required, regardless of the profession or field. These skills encompass a range of abilities, traits, and knowledge that enable us to exchange information effectively. Whether it’s expressing ideas, building relationships, or resolving conflicts, effective communication plays a crucial role in both our personal and professional lives.
Fortunately, this skill can be honed and improved with determination and proper practice.
Here are some proven ways to help you become a better communicator.
1. Master Active Listening
In the workplace setup, most of the time we are working as a team. Things like decision-making, strategy planning, etc are done after careful consideration of each and everyone suggestion.
Sample situation: The marketing department is tasked to come up with a promotional strategy for the upcoming season. The team leader holds a meeting to discuss all things related to the promotional strategy and answer the typical WH questions.
In this given situation, active listening will play an important role in order for the team to have total cooperation. Active listening is the ability of someone to give their full attention to the speaker, show genuine interest, and respond appropriately. Remember, listening is not enough to fully understand the message of the speaker, you also need comprehension.
Practice your active listening skills by maintaining eye contact, nodding or using verbal cues to indicate understanding, and refraining from interrupting.
2. Use Clear and Concise Language
Observe how you communicate. Are you conveying the main points of your message or just beating around the bush?
When it comes to communication, clarity of your message is essential. As much as possible try to strive to use simple and concise language to convey your thoughts and ideas. Always remember that simplicity is the key to effective communication. Try to limit the use of jargon or any complex terminology since it can only confuse others. Take time to organize your thoughts before speaking or writing, ensuring that your message is clear, logical, and easy to understand.
3. Incorporate Empathy and Understanding
We, humans, crave to be heard. In fact, we love it when someone fully understands every word that we utter. But sometimes, we tend to forget the most important part– Communication is built two-way.
When communicating with others, always remember the concept of ‘It’s not always about you’. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to grasp their perspective and emotions. Show empathy by acknowledging their feelings and validating their experiences. When people feel understood, they are more likely to open up, fostering a stronger connection and better communication.
4. Be Aware of Your Body Language
Communication is not always just words, it also includes non-verbal cues. Body language refers to the way you carry yourself and convey your thoughts and emotions while engaging in speaking and listening activities. It includes your position, posture, facial expressions, and movements, among other nonverbal cues.
In the workplace, being mindful of how we portray ourselves can help in making your co-workers feel at ease. But how can you do that? Simply, try to pay attention to your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Maintain an open posture, make eye contact, and use gestures to support your message. Being aware of your non-verbal cues and adapting them appropriately can enhance your overall communication and help you convey your intended message more effectively.
5. Be Open to Receiving Feedback
Can you provide and receive constructive feedback? Feedback is an essential component of communication, as it helps in understanding and resolving any misinterpretations or conflicts.
As a manager, when providing feedback, try to be empathetic and constructive as possible. Rather than criticizing the person, focus on their specific behaviors or actions. Offer him/her suggestions on how he/ she can improve and be the better version of himself/ herself.
Meanwhile, as a team member, be open to receiving feedback. Don’t try to take it negatively. Remember, your manager or team leader’s role is to guide and help you to unleash your hidden potential and be the expert in your chosen career or field.
Mastering your communication skills doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. It might take a lot of time, and patience but one thing is for sure, it is a journey that is worth embarking on.
So, embrace the challenge with enthusiasm, stay committed to improving, and watch as your relationships deepen, your professional opportunities expand, and your personal growth flourishes. You have the power to become an exceptional communicator – all it takes is dedication and a willingness to embark on this transformative journey.