You must have heard, the two most important skills to excel in life are; communication and networking.
The one who has mastered these two can always get their way with almost anything. Communication plays a crucial role in human survival in both personal and professional sphere.
But it’s not just communication that gets the message across, it is effective communication!
It’s 2019 and people are more vocal than ever. People understand the importance of communication and saying what they want is not even an issue. But often times the message isn’t received well or gets miscommunicated, and that’s a risk you’d like to avoid at all costs in your professional sphere.
Importance of communication skills in the work sphere
Be it your first interview for a job, or hundredth meeting with a client or nth number of presentation to your boss or just day to day workplace communication. How you communicate is how people know you, and it’s not limited to how you speak.
There are different types of communication; verbal communication which includes your speech, nonverbal communication includes your body language and the last but not the least; written communication. With workplaces getting global and hundreds of tools to collaborate without a need to have verbal communication, written communication holds a special value in today’s workplace.
So how to ace these three?
How to master Verbal Communication? Possessing the following communication skills will help you become an effective communicator;
The most underestimated skill in any verbal communication is listening. Before you speak, listen! Period.
And with listening, I don’t mean staying silent for a duration to let another person speak. Listen intently to what the other person is saying; understanding and accepting their point of view.
Despite the fact that there might be a need to interrupt, wait until the person has finished speaking. It will also allow you to answer more thoughtfully or you might understand their point better if you’ll just let them speak.
It looks cool to come up with a counter instantly, but only when you’re witty and with your friends. Yes, your wit might still be appreciated at the workplace, but not always.
Avoid speaking any candid thoughts in a professional space that are already unconventional or might not be taken well; before you even open your mouth, think the consequences it might have.
Like that sexist joke, your friends laughed hard at. There’s a rare chance of getting it well off and a much higher chance of you getting stigmatized as one forever.
Before you speak, think! Is it related to work? Is it actually a valid point? Will it add something to this conversation? Don’t speak anything just for the sake of speaking.
Light humor is something everyone loves in a conversation, but make sure it’s appropriate and well, actually funny. Still, keep them at a bay during important meetings or unfamiliar situations.
Speak slowly and clearly
Speak slowly unless you’re reading the terms and conditions of a mutual fund organization. Speak in a clear pace and tone; it will make your communication clear and people won’t wonder for a minute after you’ve spoken what it was about.
You can practice speaking, by yourself to develop a clear tone. It is important to remember especially during meetings and presentations and having a slow and clear tone will only make you a good speaker.
Reiterate important message
This is the most effective tip, especially when conveying something important. Try to repeat the important point of the conversation more than once, so that people can remember it. And even if someone was not attentive throughout the conversation, they’ll still remember what that was about.
Know your audience
Effective communication is all about getting your message understood, so keeping your audience in mind while communicating, will help you project your messages.
So before you pass your super nerdy Star Wars reference in that conversation, ask yourself; who your audience is? Will they understand the reference or will think you’re a weirdo who talks strange things?
So knowing who you’re speaking to, can help you crack half the communication!
Know what you’re talking about
Nothing makes an effective communicator than the person who knows what they’re talking about. Obviously, this needs time and a wide range of knowledge but having it is a great way to enhance your communication skills and likeability.
Knowing what you’re talking about will make you more confident and credible in your work sphere. And these are the people that everyone sits back and listen to at the end of the day.
Communication is a two-way process To look more interested in the conversation, and derive something meaningful out of it, ask questions, and most importantly, ask smart questions!
The answer you’ll receive is based on the question you ask. Hence, ask relevant and intelligent questions to receive the answers you want, and show you were actually paying attention.
Be a storyteller;
Nothing engages a listener more than a story, so tell stories; use examples, and make your message more engaging and understandable than a plain message delivery.
End a conversation properly
Avoid leaving conversations abruptly, it’s awkward and rude. If you’re done talking, give the conversation a closure. Like; “It was nice talking to you”, “Let’s catch up later”, “Thanks for your time”, “Do you have something to add” or anything else, just put a closure to the conversation.
Due to the rise of the virtual workplace, there is a growing need for effective written communication skills in professionals. And that does not include copying email templates from the internet!
Written communication helps keep a record of work and information that sometimes gets missed in verbal communication. Like those team meeting emails to everyone sitting in adjacent cubicles.
It is a more formal form of communication and hence requires a higher proficiency. Practicing these few tips can help you communicate effectively.
A good sentence structure will help you communicate messages clearly.
Clarify information, be more specific to avoid chances of ambiguity. Use short paragraphs and follow a proper order. Don’t muddle the information throughout the message, present it properly and in order.
A very few people are likely to ask questions on an email sent to the entire team, leading to higher chances of confusion. So make it as clear and understanding as you can.
Also, look out for any typos or grammatical errors; collectively they cost billions to industries, in advertisements, marketing copies or emails, etc.
Be it a one-line message or a 23-page company report; make it a habit to proofread whatever you write. There’s a very less chance of not making a mistake in the first draft of anything you write, but don’t make the mistake of not checking it back.
If it’s something important and a lot of people are likely to see the message, ask for feedback from your colleagues. They’ll easily point errors, which might have gone unnoticed by you.
The deal with communication is you can always improve on it. Keep practicing and enhancing your skills. The more you use them, the better they get.
Actions speak louder than words, people also hear what you don’t speak. Hence your body language is half your communication. Learn the do’s and don’ts of body language in this blog.
Already mastered the art of communication? Show your skills in your next job interview! – Apply Now