Communication Skills in the Workplace

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Good communication with fellow employees and your superiors is effective no matter what job industry you are in. An employee must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person, as well as via phone, email, and social media. Good communication skills will help you get hired, land promotions, and be successful all throughout your career. In fact, good communication can boost teamwork and lead to better project collaboration. It ensures that management and their team are on the same page and employees are more confident with the work at hand and managers are assured that team members are correctly undertaking that work.

Communication Skills You Should Have

Good Listener

Listening is key to all effective communication. Trust me, nobody likes communicating with someone who forces their opinions into the conversation and does not take the initiative to listen to the other person. Hence, when you are being given a task; good listening skills will let you understand the task at hand and how to execute the task. On the other hand, if you are not a good listener then it would be hard to understand what people ask you to do. Hence, if you do not have good listening skills, take the time to practice Active listening skills.

Some ways to improve your listening skills are through:

-Maintaining eye contact: Maintain eye contact whilst engaging in a conversation so that the other person  knows that you are paying attention

– Do not interrupt: If you have questions or something to say, save it till the other person finishes speaking.

-Nod Your Head: this tells the speaker that you understand what they are saying

-Lean toward the speaker: This tells the other person that you are interested in the communication

-Repeat Instructions and ask relevant questions: Once the other person finishes speaking, repeat the instruction to let them know that you understand. If you have any questions, well that is the right time to ask questions

Be Clear and Concise

Being a good communicator means just saying enough and ensuring that your message is clear for the other person to understand. Be concise! Speaking concisely will ensure that the words you use are relevant and is easy to pronounce and your audience is able to understand what you are saying. Speaking concisely also shows some level of professionalism and shows respect for your coworkers. Do not ramble! If you start rambling, your audience will not be able to understand what you are trying to say. Before you talk, think about what you plan to say to avoid you talking excessively and confusing your audience.

Tips to speak more concisely:

-Plan what to Say: Before you start rambling, I mean talking, plan what you are going to say. This would help you to include all the necessary information you would like to impart and exclude irrelevant information.

-Do not Over-Explain: Do not give out too much information about a certain subject. It is understandable that you would like to explain your ideas, but, only give out explanations when it is necessary so that your audience is able to understand you. Over-explaining can cause a conversation to run longer than it needs to.

-Avoid using filler words: Filler words are words that you use during a conversation while you are thinking of what to say next e.g. um, like, so, etc. Instead of using filler words, use phrases like “Going on to the next topic”, “Moving On”, and “Let’s talk about….”

-Know your audience: Knowing your audience can help you identify which pieces of information are relevant to them. Try and get characteristics that will help you deliver your information such as career background, area of interest, social background, etc

Be Friendly

By having a friendly tone, asking personal questions, or simply smiling you will encourage your co-workers to engage in an open and honest conversation with you. It is very important to be polite in all aspects of workplace communications. Being friendly to your co-workers can benefit you. For instance, your co-workers can offer you support especially if you are a new employee. You would get good testimonials from your co-workers for your friendliness. Also, clients and customers love friendly professionals hence you will get growth in sales as well as customer base.

How to be more friendly:

– Exhibit warm characteristics: Being warm is part of being friendly. People should be able to talk to you comfortably or come to you when they are facing problems. You should be a good listener and have the ability to hear people out when they are talking to you.

-Don’t be snobbish: Don’t openly ignore people. Sometimes you can genuinely ignore them because you may be busy or they are a nuisance, on the other hand, try to tell them that you will get back to them later.

-Smile: Try to smile often and avoid having a serious face all the time. People who smile often are approachable.

-Learn to start conversations: Some, in fear of rejection, may never approach you for a chat. Learn to be the first person to say hello and make greetings a norm.

Open-Mindedness

A good communicator should be able to enter any conversation with a flexible, open mind. You should be open to listening to and understanding the other person’s point of view rather than forcing your viewpoints across. By being willing to enter into a dialogue, even with people with whom you disagree, you will be able to have more honest, productive conversations.

You can be more open-minded by:

-Not shutting yourself off from people

-Place yourself out of your comfort zone

– Stay social and make new friends

-Don’t be afraid to ask questions

In the end the key to effective communication is being a good listener. Listening with your whole body, listening to what others have to say and listening to their body language for clues that might give you an idea of what they are thinking. Having these skills will reduce misunderstandings in the workplace and help you to be a more confident conversationalist.

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