Building your communication skills is crucial if you aim to have a successful professional career. Whether you’re at the start of your career or are an established professional, you cannot progress without effective and clear communication. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can communicate better, keep reading below.
1. Be aware of the difference between hearing and listening
When you’re just hearing, you’re going through a completely passive process where you’re not actively engaging with what the other person is saying. You may not be internalizing what they say, and thus it can be challenging for you to understand their point of view. Moreover, you would also fail at getting your point of view across to them. When you’re actively listening, however, you make a clear effort to understand what the other person is saying. This can help you respond accurately and make the other person feel heard.
2. Try to be clear
In professional workplaces, in particular, it’s easy to make things overly complicated when they don’t need to be. You might find yourself using long, convoluted sentences and overly-complicated vocabulary. All this achieves nothing except diluting what you want to say. Instead of overcomplicating things, keep things concise and clear. This way, you will have to put in less effort explaining yourself, and the other person can have an easier time understanding you too. No matter what your position is in the organization, it is vital to communicate with clarity to progress better in your career.
3. Practice e-mail etiquette
Emails are perfect for staying connected with your team on the go. However, when used incorrectly, they’re also perfect for creating misunderstandings if you send them in a bad frame of mind. Businesses use emails instead of regular messaging apps to keep things professional and to document all conversations. Thus, if you ever send an email when you’re upset, angry, or unsure, it’ll be forever documented and can make you look super unprofessional. Instead, practice proper email etiquette by always trying to sound as clear and professional as you can.
4. Be aware of the importance of body talk
Communication isn’t always verbal – a lot of it is nonverbal and can influence your conversations heavily. At times, you may try to sound nonchalant, but your body may convey disinterest, anger, or any other negative emotion. To keep such negative nonverbal cues from leaking into your interactions, practice tuning in to what your body might be saying, keeping an open posture and always conveying that you’re ready to listen.
5. Observe others
Observing others is an excellent way to learn more about office culture and can help you integrate into it seamlessly. When observing people, you may pay attention to how people interact, what the social hierarchy is, and what the office ‘code’ is. Once you understand how people operate, you can fit yourself into that office culture and form better communications.
6. Speak up
Effective communication isn’t just about listening. It’s also about making yourself heard. Express your ideas and speak up. Speaking up is vital if you want to get your viewpoint across. It’s important to communicate effectively and assertively without overstepping any boundaries to reach success in professional life.