Communication skills are fundamental to everything in working life, from success during the process of recruitment to getting promoted or moving into a managerial role. In fact, potential employers often rank communication above everything else, including a strong work ethic and honest and integrity. If you feel like your communication skills could use a little work these are our top tips for improvement.
- Focus on being better at communication. If this is an area you really want to improve on then put some effort into it. Take a course on better communication, read up on the subject, listen to podcasts and talk to others. The more you prioritise improving this key skill the better you’re likely to get at it.
- Learn how to engage others in a conversation. Communication isn’t just about speaking, it’s the back and forth between people that creates the essential interaction. Asking questions is crucial to this, as is seeking out feedback and inviting people to share opinions.
- Don’t overcomplicate what you want to say. The simplest communication is the most powerful. You don’t have to be wordy or very intellectual to get your message across. In fact, some of the most powerful communications in history have been just a couple of hundred words long.
- Make understanding a priority. Take the time to listen and to process what someone says to you so that you’re sure you understand. If in doubt, ask more questions and seek more information until you have grasped the topic.
- Respond when you’re ready. When you’re communicating with someone there is nothing wrong with taking some time before you respond to them. This is especially important if you need a few moments to process what they have just said and compose a reply.
- Listen. If you don’t listen, your communication skills will always be poor. Instead of jumping ahead to what you want to say next, actually engage with what is being said to you.
- Don’t forget the physical side. Upwards of 65% of communication is non-verbal so don’t forget your body language – and that of your listener too. Are you standing with crossed arms? Is their posture open or turned away from you? There are many little signs of interest and engagement that can be useful in communication terms.
- Hold eye contact. You’ll not only be demonstrating commitment and enthusiasm if you hold eye contact but it will make you appear more trustworthy too. This applies whether you’re communicating with a room full of people or just one other person.
- Who are you talking to? It’s important to understand your audience if you want to improve communication skills. What do they need from this, what perspective do they bring and what are the benefits of listening to you?
It’s simple to be a better communicator when you know how. From the way you speak to how you listen, there are many different factors that can have an impact.
Our Communication Skills course is designed to help delegates communicate more effectively with customers and colleagues.