6 Ways to Improve Communication Skills at Work

People communicate all the time, but not all of the communication is effective. Communication is a kind of art. Having excellent communication skills allows you to interact with people in a satisfying way and helps you stand out from the crowd. In fact, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, communication skills are listed as the most important quality sought in job candidates. For people who are extrovert or have jobs focusing on the customer service, communication skills play an even larger role in their careers. Here are 6 ways to improve your communication skills in order for you to interact with people effectively and increase your chance of success.

Pay attention to your nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, body language, and physical distance between the communicators. It is as important as verbal communication. Your nonverbal communication can indicate your level of confidence which is exceptionally important when you are conveying an idea to your colleagues, your boss, or customers. Therefore, in order to communicate clearly and confidently, you should adopt proper posture, make eye contact, speak in a comfortable tone, pitch, and speed, and move around a little if necessary.

Find out a preferred way of communicating

Like we’ve already mentioned above, communication is not limited to verbal communication. Everyone has different communication preference. Some people like to use email, some like phone calls and text, and some like face-to-face conversations. Respect the person you’re trying to contact and use the method they seem to prefer. In this way, you can not only communicate with them more effectively but also increase your likelihood to them.

Get your point across

To get your point across to your audience effectively, you should keep your conversation neat, informative, and understandable. Sometimes we are likely to get lost in our own words because there are so many we want to say. Instead of focusing on what you want to say to get your point across, focusing on what you want your audience to hear. Also, you should point out your key information at the beginning of the conversation with simple and plain language, then back it up with more details, and emphasize your points again in the end. In this way, you can convey your message more clearly and your audience are more likely to have a deeper impression of it.

Be a listener

Richard Branson once said “listen more than you talk.” Not only should one be able to speak effectively, one should also listen to their audience’s words and engage in communication on what their audience is speaking about. This is how business people connect with each other. To communicate effectively, listen to what others have to say. Then you can provide thoughtful answers which show that you have treated your communicators seriously and have taken their concerns or ideas into account. Moreover, avoid the impulse to listen only for the end of your communicator’s sentence so that you can interpret their ideas correctly and show you respect.

Listen to what people do not say

Sometimes being a listener is not enough, for the successful communication, you also need to pay attention to what is not said –– it might just be as critical as what has been said. Being able to read between lines of what people say and really understanding what they mean will give you great advantages in business and in your career. When you are talking to someone, listening for any emotional clues that signal there might be more to the story, asking clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand what they are saying, and noticing their nonverbal language changes such as posture and facial expression may help you identify what is not being said.

Practice

There is a saying –– “Great communicators are made, not born.” Excellent communication skills are developed through constant practice, beginning with simple interactions. Every day when you talk with your colleagues, bosses, and customers, you have a great opportunity to practice your interpersonal skills. Remind yourself of the previous points we mentioned when you are having a conversation and utilize them. New skills take time to refine, but each time you use your communication skills, you open yourself to new opportunities and future partnerships. Here are 6 ways to improve your communication skills at work. Do not be afraid of making mistakes when you start to reach out. As your experience accumulates, you will be a better communicator and you will be closer to achieving your goals!

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