Five ways to improve your communications skills
Effective communication skills are vital to success in the workplace. You need to express yourself in a clear and compelling manner to achieve positive outcomes. Fortunately, if these skills don’t come to you naturally, you can learn them. According to Southern New Hampshire University, here’s how:
- Fine-tune your listening skills
Communication is just as much about listening as it is about talking. So make a conscious effort to understand the other person. Concentrate on their words, tone and body language. Summarise what they said to check you’ve understood properly. Ask questions for clarification before offering your thoughtful, considered response.
- Work on your presentation skills
Speaking well in group situations requires clarity about your message, a logical progression through your main points, and lots of practice. Tailor what you’re saying to your audience, and take them on a journey to your natural conclusion, asking questions to draw them in along the way.
- Master the art of telephone chat
Emails are good for quick, short communications but the phone is better when there’s any complexity involved. It’s also more effective for relationship-building. Improve your telephone skills by focusing on your tone and preparing a list of your points (incl. desired outcome) in advance. When there’s a problem, ensure the caller knows what they say matters and that you’ll be taking appropriate action.
- Write better emails
Most of our communications are email-based so writing clear, grammatically-correct emails will have a big impact on your productivity (as well as creating a good impression on the recipient). Use online spell checkers to catch criminal misspellings and, if you’re emailing about a delicate matter, take a break before proofreading your email and hitting send. Keep it short and to the point.
- Develop your software skills
In the context of remote working, your software skills also require attention. For video calls, ensure there will be no last-minute technical glitches or noisy interruptions so you can focus properly. To facilitate team collaboration, you must also be fully conversant with your company’s file sharing, document creation and instant messaging software.
However good your communication skills are, there’s always room for improvement! We hope that the above tips give you some ideas on how to take yours to the next level. For advice on how to make your communication (or other) skills shine on your job applications and at interviews, please get in touch at email@example.com or 020 7092 3939.