Active listening involves paying close attention to what someone is saying to you, rephrasing what the person is saying and asking clarifying questions to understand what they are saying. One of the best ways to communicate effectively is to be a good listener. Nobody enjoys communicating with someone who only pushes their agenda and doesn’t take the time to listen to the other person. If you’re not a good listener, you can’t effectively understand what is asked and required of you while in the workplace.
A crucial part of effective communication is being able to express your opinions and concerns verbally. This involves communicating your message in a clear and concise way. By doing so, you don’t confuse the person you are communicating with. People with poor verbal communication skills often don’t plan out what they want to say and could miss or forget important details. This often leads to misinterpretation of what is being said or confusion about issues. Effective verbal communication is important for a productive workplace, as it makes sure everyone is always on the same page.
Written communication skills are necessary to get your message across, as digital environments makes the ability to communicate effectively in writing a prime requirement in all workplaces. These skills manifest as clearly and concisely presenting your thoughts and feedback using an active voice and a professional yet friendly tone. Your work communications, such as emails and reports, should focus on relevant content, proper grammar and word choice. Effective written communication creates a connection with your audience and is a record people can always refer to.
While you’re verbally communicating, your nonverbal communication is being noticed as well. Nonverbal communication skills revolve around your tone, body language and facial expressions. Eye contact, hand gestures and voice all contribute to the message you are trying to get across. It helps to practice having a relaxed and open body stance. Don’t have your arms or legs crossed and use a friendly tone where appropriate to encourage others to engage with you. Open nonverbal communication also involves being mindful of the signals the person you are talking to are presenting during your conversation. These signals show how the person is truly feeling in response to your feedback.
To effectively communicate with others, your communication must be collaborative. Collaborating with your coworkers while sharing creates more precise and meaningful communication and eliminates any possibility of misinterpretation. In addition, collaboration emphasizes information-sharing and contributing to better decision making, as more than one perspective is considered, which fosters a more efficient, flexible and open workplace.
Effective presentation skills require careful thought and preparation. This is needed so that you can present information in a clear and concise way to get your message across effectively. Presentation skills are needed in almost every profession and contribute to a more efficient and productive workplace. These skills can be adapted to improve various public speaking situations. In a workplace environment, these can be situations such as addressing a meeting or briefing a team.
This skill is an important part of effective communication as it shows that you are paying attention and care enough about the topic to clearly and directly respond to what the other person said. Staying present in the conversation and being able to provide useful and appropriate responses to issues is one of the most effective ways to build trust among your peers, develop a rapport within a team and create better professional relationships.
Professionals who communicate confidently can convey what they want to their clients and coworkers in a clear and efficient manner. Speaking concisely and with clarity is an excellent social skill that makes your intentions and expectations clear, leading to a decrease in miscommunication and confusion.
This is one of the most important communication skills as it allows you to be aware of and recognize emotions in others and to understand other people’s perspectives on a situation. Cultivating a compassionate working structure makes communicating easier amongst all workers, as having an empathetic response to issues means that all perspectives are heard.
The key to respectful communication with others is, to be honest, open and polite. Have a positive and clear tone, don’t use negative body language while others are speaking (crossed arms, eye-rolling, reaching for devices) and maintain eye contact. This level of engagement can have a powerful impact on the conversation as it shows that you care about both the subject matter and the individual.
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Effective communication is the proper utilization of skills to connect with others, ensuring your ideas and concepts are heard and that people will act on them. Effective communication can be displayed in many ways, from your body language, level of confidence in your statements, tone, attitude and ability to listen and accept feedback from others.
If the people you talk to often ask questions to clarify what you said or ask you to repeat what you said, you may not be effectively communicating. If you are not clear with your message and don’t use an active voice and facts to back up what you are saying, you will have difficulty communicating your message to the other person.
Great communication skills are important because letting everyone have a voice and the opportunity to communicate freely leads to increased engagement, improved productivity and a feeling of satisfaction thanks to being respected and acknowledged. Ensuring the opportunity to develop and grow communication skills eliminates misunderstandings, ambiguities and questions, and builds a safe place for people to think creatively.
As listed above, there are many factors that go into great communication, whether it’s how confidently you present yourself, or your body language and tone of voice. The most effective way to communicate is by practicing active listening. While this term gets thrown around a lot, it’s actually rooted in a very important skill, the ability to be completely present and aware of what the speaker is trying to impart. During a conversation, people generally want to get to the root of their specific issue and are focused on what they’re going to say next. While this is our natural approach, it doesn’t leave things open for effective communication because you’re not focused on what the other person’s thoughts are, just your own. An effective communicator knows how to listen first and then thoughtfully respond to issues based on all the information they’ve received.
The best way to improve your communication skills is by positively interacting and observing others in the work environment. Thank people for their time if they helped you solve a problem, be willing to listen and be present even during small break room chats, don’t interrupt — even if you have a great conversation add-on — and remember to follow up on topics that aren’t just about professional life. If a coworker saw a movie or a show feel free to ask them about it, as taking notice of your coworkers hobbies or interests shows you are approachable and attentive. Body language is also important when trying to improve your communication skills, so make eye contact with the person speaking, smile where appropriate and don’t reach for your devices midconversation.