How to Improve Communication Skills at Work
Communication has to be the crux of all relations – professional or personal. Don’t you think? Unless you are able to communicate your point of view well enough for the other person to understand, how else will it lead to any action? And though this point seems simple enough, we still find that there are several problems being brought to the fore because people don’t communicate effectively. That is why, there is a need to reiterate exactly what these communication skills involve and to understand how to improve them. Even though a person might be of the firm belief that he/she can communicate effectively, it is still advisable to go through these communication skills in the workplace so that the facts become reiterated. In this following section, we will concentrate on the ways in which good communication skills at work can be brought into the picture.
Improving Your Communication Skills at Work
There are certain key pointers in the list of communication skills which when followed well, will lead to an improvement in the person’s communication skills. Let us review some of the ways of improving communication skills in the workplace in the following paragraphs.
Listen, then Listen Some More
How important is it that you listen, and listen well enough? Really important. Listening allows you to understand the other person’s point of view and what they are saying effectively well. When you listen, you are respecting that person and showing them that what they say is important and that their opinion matters. But when you listen, listen to understand. Repeat and recall what they’ve said so that you know that you really are listening. Do not interrupt the other person when they speak because there is nothing more irritating than that. This is the most important factor when it comes to improving one’s communication skills.
Another effective tip is to try to understand what the other person is going through by empathizing with him/her. When you and him have different positions or different natures of jobs, it can become easy to not consider what the other person is going through. Do not make this mistake. If the other person has done something that you haven’t liked, first try and imagine yourself in that situation and speak to them calmly about what they could’ve done instead.
Talk the Talk
How you speak is also an art. Many times, what you want to say is lost in translation only because it has not been formulated well. So, formulate what you want to say with clarity – think what you need to convey and then form the message in the best possible manner so that it can be understood. Change the pitch and the way in which you talk to make it less monotonous and more interesting. All these techniques definitely help in making the message more clear and there are less chances of miscommunication.
Concentrate on Body Language
..Theirs and yours. Body language is an important factor that you need to factor in. You need to learn how to read their body language so that you know what they are saying, and then you also need to concentrate on your body language so that you can make your speech more effective and strong.
Careful when Criticizing
There are bound to be mistakes when it comes to the workplace, but the ability to understand how to handle that situation with maturity is what matters. Instead of being harsh and criticizing a person for their mistakes, try and tone it down. Criticism can be very difficult to take and if you are harsh about it, the attention gets taken away from the mistakes of the other person to the way in which you spoke to them. Thus, the scope for improvement gets compromised. One useful tip is to use ‘I’ (I really don’t like it when this happens) instead of pointing fingers at them and using ‘You’ (You always bungle up like this).
Own up to Things
Another very important factor is to understand how important it is to own up to things that have gone wrong at your end. This means that you take cognizance of things and admit to the mistakes that you’ve made. This shows your character, and the respect for you will naturally follow, which then leads to an improvement in the communication skills.
Encourage Communication in all Sectors
It is important that the employees are comfortable with each other and are able to communicate with each other on a daily basis. If they aren’t, one cannot hope that they will be able to communicate about other problems as well. When proper communication channels are open to people, it will then transcend to include communication in the workplace. When there is effective communication in the workplace, the varied problems in the different sectors will also come to the fore. One way in which this can be done is to undertake several communication exercises that concentrate on improving the communication styles.
Conflicts and Silence
Sometimes, there can be conflicts which can get to be very ugly. Hurtful things can be said in the heat of the moment which can cause for souring of professional relationships and will thus have an adverse effect on the quality of work. One has to develop the skills to handle a situation well enough, to know what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes, taking a break and keeping silent is the smartest thing to do. One has to learn to distinguish the requirements of each situation and what will work when.
When you work on these and understand how to master them to make the most effect, the results will be clear in the way your relations with the others improve and the positive results that they bring forth. Do not underestimate them at all.