Practicing communication skills fosters workplace trust and confidence. Find out more about your communication strengths.
What Exactly Is Communication?
Communication is defined as the exchange of information through both verbal and nonverbal cues. Often, how you say things has a greater impact on a listener than the words you use, and the subconscious movements you make can add a different meaning or intent to your conversations. While tone and body language can obstruct clear communication, they can also enhance it. Strong communication skills can help you express yourself more effectively.
10 Communication Advantages
Here are ten important communication skills that help employees succeed at work:
1. Active listening: Being a good listener is one of the keys to becoming a great communicator. Paying close attention to a speaker, avoiding outside distractions, and asking clarifying questions when necessary are all examples of active listening skills. As a result, you gain a better understanding of the speaker's point of view and make that person feel heard and respected.
2. Clarity and volume: Clarity entails not only public speaking without mumbling or stammering, but also speaking in a concise and professional manner to avoid excessive or confusing chatter. When attempting to convey an idea or persuade a listener, the tone of your voice, which includes the volume and pitch at which you speak as well as the emphasis you place on words, is also an effective communication skill.
3. Confidence: Projecting confidence communicates to others that your words and ideas are worthy of attention and response. It's also an effective form of communication in a job interview, where eye contact, good posture, and a firm but friendly tone demonstrate to recruiters that you're ready for the job.
4. Feedback: The ability to give and receive feedback is one of the most effective communication styles. Receiving constructive criticism demonstrates flexibility and adaptability, as well as a focus on teamwork and professional development. Giving constructive feedback is a fundamental leadership skill that demonstrates the importance of employee engagement through praise and effective guidance.
5. Friendship: A positive attitude toward others goes a long way toward team building and trust. Friendship also encourages others to communicate with you in an honest and open manner.
6. Honesty: An important communication skill to cultivate in both your personal and professional life, honesty demonstrates that you take company values seriously. It also establishes your credibility and accountability.
7. Nonverbal communication skills: Your body language is a form of communication as well. Your friendliness, confidence, and trustworthiness are communicated through facial expressions, hand gestures, eye contact, and other nonverbal signals. Learning to read nonverbal cues when face-to-face with others is also an important skill set for the workplace. It enables you to perceive what others are trying to convey without using words.
8. Presentation: Miscommunication occurs frequently when ideas are not expressed clearly or appropriately. An overly technical explanation of software or a meeting with stakeholders that does not include sales or profitability figures are examples of this. Employers value communication skills such as selecting the appropriate communication style to express an idea.
9. Respect: Respect, like honesty, is important for both your social skills and your workplace communications. It fosters trust through active listening and politeness, which can be as simple as allowing others to speak freely in team meetings.
10. Writing abilities: Effective communication is not limited to verbal and nonverbal means. One of the most important business communication skills is the ability to share information in a concise and professional manner, whether through emails, reports, or other documentation.
How to Improve Communication Skills at Work
There are several ways to improve your communication skills. You can:
Select the appropriate modes of communication. Choosing the right communication channels is often the first step toward effective communication. Take into account the person and the information you need to share. Cover letters can be used to effectively introduce yourself to prospective employers, whereas phone calls or emails work better with remote workers than face-to-face visits.
Simple friendly gestures should be made. Sometimes the most effective workplace communication is a friendly word or gesture toward others. You don't have to go overboard: a genuine greeting or genuine praise are both excellent examples of simple efforts that express friendliness.
Active listening should be practiced. Listening is the foundation of many effective communication skills. Improve your listening skills by paying attention not only to a speaker's words but also to their body language and facial expressions, which often convey additional information that their language does not.