After reading this article, you will understand how to improve your communication skills, and help others do the same.
Communication is a skill, and like all skills, you can get the most out of it by practicing.
You will be able to apply these strategies effectively in your life, which will improve relationships between people, allow for better problem solving, and ultimately lead to better business outcomes.
Why is Good Communication so Important at Work?
It may be tempting to think that, as long as you do your job well, being a good communicator is not so important. However, that would not be far from the truth!
All aspects of your job depend on communication, and how well you can communicate is related to how well you do your job.
This is even more appropriate with the increase in remote activity – poor communication skills are highlighted by increased messaging use rather than face-to-face contact at work.
If you are responsible for dealing with customers, your contact with them will make or break a relationship.
Consider the various aspects of this work that call for good communication:
- pitching your company to the client,
- building a trusting personal relationship with them,
- understanding what they want and clearly communicating that to the relevant teams,
- receiving feedback,
- communicating about updates or delays,
- and many more.
If you are unable to do this, the client will lose credibility and may be looking for another better company to communicate with.
If you are in a management position or would like to be in the future, communication is essential.
Leadership is about being able to deliver your message well, articulate ideas, provide constructive feedback, guide your team, and solve problems. How well you know how to communicate will be important for all of those actions.
Even in roles where you work closely with your team, your communication skills will help you achieve success in your role.
Good communication will lead to the ability to explain problems, build solutions, build good relationships with your department, and work effectively in the future.
6 Ways to improve your communication skills
1. The importance of listening
We cannot touch the importance of communication without emphasizing that a large part of it is what you do when you are not speaking.
Being a good listener is a very important part of communication.
We are not just talking about hearing someone’s words; instead you should watch their non-speaking communication again.
- Is the person avoiding eye contact?
- Is their posture open or closed?
- Are they fidgeting with their hands?
All of these actions convey a lot of information.
How to be a good listener:
- When listening, listen carefully to the speaker.
- Set your phone face down.
- Lock your computer screen.
- Look at their silent signs, and listen to their words.
- Use clarification questions to trace key points and summarize your understanding of them, in order to eliminate any misunderstandings quickly.
By following the advice above, you show your participation in the conversation, reassure the person who heard you, and fully understand him or her.
2. Improving non-verbal communication
To start developing your non-verbal communication, first of all, you have to start paying attention.
As you go about your day, be aware of how you use the various forms of communication other than the word we mentioned in our article about types of communication.
- Do you make consistent eye contact?
- How do you position yourself when speaking to people?
- Does it change based on who you are talking to?
- How do people react to you?
- Are there certain people who make you feel heard?
- What do they do that makes you feel like that?
- Is there someone who is unpleasant to communicate with?
- What actions do they do that make you not enjoy talking to them?
Think of the good and bad things you see.
If you find someone who you think is good – or bad – to talk to, point out why they make you feel that way.
Note the verbal signals they make.
You can imitate the good, and recognize the negatives.
How to be better at non-verbal communication:
- Do not hesitate! This is the first rule. Be quiet, be still. This means you are in control, confident and have the strength to deal with it.
- Use eye contact wisely. Focus on people when you want to drive home. Look people in the eye both when you listen to them and when you speak.
- Be confident in your use of space. Do not cut yourself, but relax in your space. It is important that you do this wisely! Do not prevent other people from living freely.
- Strive to be steadfast in the face of stress. Keep your emotions level and respond calmly.
Just realizing the wordless communication, and the power it has will help you to use it better and more continuously.
If you find that you tend to avoid eye contact during stressful conversations, then you can be sure that you are emphasizing eye contact when speaking at the next meeting.
3. Improving verbal communication
To improve your communication skills, you will need to improve both in your speech and in your speech.
It does not matter how clear your message is or how rude it is.
As we recommend non-verbal communication, start by looking at yourself and others in the conversation.
- How do people react to you?
- Are there times when they react more negatively than others, and can you pinpoint why?
- Are there colleagues who you particularly enjoy conversing with?
- Observe how communication happens in your work environment, and pay attention to which aspects are positive and negative.
Next, start thinking about the content of your verbal communication.
We all know someone who takes years to get to the point of a story, and how frustrating that can be, or someone who never gets to a point.
Before you speak, know what you want to communicate.
- Begin with your stated purpose (‘I think we need to increase ad spending 10%’)
- Move on to your reasoning (‘The upcoming holiday season is a prime time to target our customers more effectively’)
- Review possible outcomes (‘We could increase sales between 20 and 30%’).
While this advice is best suited for formal presentations, this also applies to informal settings.
Knowing what you want to say and having supporting facts will make you appear more professional, knowledgeable and able to make sound decisions.
Use pitch to help captivate your audience
- The low voice often interacts with gravitas and information. Take a deep breath, breathe deeply, and talk about your diaphragm to lower your voice.
- Use silence to capture, and maintain attention. Pause and draw the attention of the viewer before setting your voice, your main presentation or your thesis sentence.
- Use cadence width, speed and style. You do not want to talk about monotone, you will bore your audience and they will not share your content.
4. Improving written communication
In written communication, the first step to improving is to make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect.
There are many online tools that can help you with this. Simply paste your writing into the app and get important feedback on spelling, grammar, and even content.
Now, this is not the perfect solution, AI is smart but can make mistakes, but it works very well for quick testing, especially if you are not a strong writer in the world.
Take the time to re-read everything that you write
- Is your tone appropriate to the setting?
- Are there any mistakes, items not linked properly, or missing points?
- Have you covered the subject in enough depth?
- We often overestimate how much other people know about our specialist subjects, it might be necessary to write in more detail. At the same time, don’t write a novel!
Formatting is key
- Format everything, from a Slack message to a full presentation, to make sure that you are creating a readable text.
- Use bullet points and paragraphs to break up your message.
- Highlight your points in bold if you have a lot of text.
- Underline anything that you think is crucial.
More tips for improving your written communication:
- Express your opinion. This will help to prevent bad communication. Start with ‘I think you have heard about the new policy change, effective June 1st. Because of this, we will be correcting x, y and z. ‘
- Read on. From messages to novels, read regularly and as you do, think about what you like (or dislike) about what you are reading. Imitate what you like, and work to avoid what you do not like.
- Use an outline to illustrate your point. Think about it from the recipient’s point of view, and what is inside it, and add a message frame to highlight that.
- Read your writing aloud to check for mistakes. Use this time to review grammar, tone, factual expressions and to make sure you include everything you want to do in communication.
- If possible, use clear examples and avoid using a lot of jargon.
5. Improving visual communication
An important feature of using visual communication is to use it only when necessary.
A presentation full of visual resources that do not add content is dirty, useless, and will disrupt the whole message.
You want to be smart about what you include, and why you are involved. Make sure you use the appropriate chart to display the data in a very clear way, or only include drawings that will add to the audience’s understanding of the new logo ideas.
Not all of us are graphic designers, but there are tools available to help us create visuals that look like a professional.
Use those! You do not want your presentation to look like it was created in 1995.
Automatically clean professional templates, rather than looking ‘interesting.’ Your message should be a star, not a font, a color, or a background image.
Tips for improving visual communication:
- Less is more! Review your design and resist the urge to incorporate all facts, figure, font and color into the presentation.
- Use typography. If in doubt, ask for your company’s product guidelines and follow through. They will help you create consistent presentations that match your company’s preferred look.
- Pay attention to balance and consistency. You can achieve this by using the same things, instead of divisions, in your communication. The same style of paste art, the same font family, or the same pastel shades.
- Start with an end in mind. Know what you want to say and start there.
6. Study with English Training Course
English is considered the Universal language. If you know English well, you can go through many situations. There is a perception among us that a person who is fluent in English is intelligent and that speaking English with confidence is a matter for the higher classes only. This is absolutely wrong. Of course, being an English-speaking person of the language helps to give you the freedom to explore further. But fluent English is possible for anyone regardless of age, degree, or financial status.
Another way to create fun learning is to do it well in the comfortable environment of your home with a good teacher. Your home is a quiet place where you can learn as much as you would like. In addition, there are many other basics as to why you are learning English at home“English Padikkyam with Inverted Coconut” is always so exciting:
“English Padikkyam with Inverted Coconut” helps you shape your career as it helps you face an important interview cycle with great confidence. The Entri app provides you with the best and most affordable Spoken English online classes led by one of the best English speakers, Aparna Mulberry. This spoken English course helps you to speak fluently and confidently with interesting video classes and practice sessions.