Top 5 communication skills and how to improve them
Developing strong communication skills are key to developing a successful career, helping you gain job interviews, make a good impression with managers and co-workers, land promotions, and build your network.
In the hyperconnected world we live in, we are sending and receiving a growing number of messages either in person, on the phone, in virtual meetings, via email, through company instant messaging, and on social media everyday. Often from people in locations hundreds or thousands of miles away with the recent increase in remote working.
In this article we’re diving into the top 5 communication skills and how to improve them to help you save time, increase productivity, avoid conflict, improve your professional image, and make better decisions.
Listening isn’t just about understanding what they say or have written so that you can respond, it’s about understanding where they’re coming from and how the feel.
You can improve this skill by actively listening to what they’re communicating. Truly focus on what they’re saying, ask questions to clarify points, rephrase what they said back to them to show you were paying attention and have understood it.
If you’re talking about life outside of work and they mention names, remember them and ask about them at a later date. People love to hear the names of their loved ones and it shows you were listening.
2. Straight talking
Simple conversation with colleagues is really important for building trust, friendships (which can help your productivity) and find problems before they come bigger.
Talking to new people can lead to a multitude of new opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
3. Non-verbal communication
93% of communication is non verbal.
Your body language, reaction, the way you look and listen all colour what you’re saying. To make a better impression, stand with good posture, maintain eye contact, keep your body language open, dress professionally, smile.
Use this to your advantage to help you better connect with others and communicate more clearly.
4. Stress Management
Stress can be beneficial to your productivity in small quantities, however, if you’re feeling constantly and extremely stress then this can make your communication unclear, warp your opinion, and negatively impact your behaviour.
By improving your stress management skills whether that be by learning to switch off completely after work or finding a stress relieving hobby outside of work, you can avoid these issues.
5. Emotion control
Emotional intelligence impacts how you understand other people and how other people understand and perceive you.
If you’re not aware of how you’re coming across, you won’t be able to express yourself in the way you intend to which can result in frustration, misunderstanding, and conflict.
Take time to be mindful of how you’re feeling and think about how you’d feel if someone communicated with you the way you’re communicating with them.