Good communication skills are important in the workplace, especially for those in leadership positions and the ones who aspire to be the one in future. In fact, how you communicate with your colleagues and superiors plays a crucial role for your professional success. Being an excellent communicator can open more doors for you at every stage of your career as it sets you apart from others. An employer will always prefer to hire a candidate with great communication skills even if it is not the ultimate requirement for performing a job role well. Similarly, a manager will always choose a team member who is good at his work and possesses excellent communication skills over those who may also be good at their job but are not good communicators. Thus, the importance of communication skills in the workplace and in one’s professional life cannot be overlooked. Before we move forward, let us first understand–
What are Communication Skills?
Communication skills can be simply defined as the ability to effectively and efficiently share information with others. In the workplace, sharing information and communicating messages with interested parties can involve exchanging emails, talking over the phone or meeting one-on-one. The following segment explains the different types of communication skills one must perfect to stand out in the workplace.
Types of Communication Skills and their Importance
Communication skills, in the organizational context, can be broadly classified into the following three categories:
1. Verbal Communication–
Using spoken words to communicate a message is referred to as verbal communication. Most people believe that verbal communication involves only speaking, which is not a correct notion. Verbal communication also involves possessing good listening skills as only when two/more people exchange their views/ideas freely, can they come to a mutually agreed upon conclusion.
Having your verbal communication on point will help you nurture good relationships with your colleagues. It will also help you build a strong network of people whom you can count on whenever the need arises.
2. Non-verbal Communication–
‘It is not what you say, but how you say it.’
This old saying perfectly describes the importance of effective non-verbal communication. When people speak or listen to someone, they don’t just listen to the message being conveyed, but also how it is being conveyed. This means that it also involves the non-verbal part of the communication, including body language, gestures, facial expressions, etc., used by the speaker as well as those listening to him/her.
Simple body language cues such as nodding your head slightly when you agree with somebody, maintaining a good posture while speaking/listening are all important aspects of effective non-verbal communication. It shows that you are genuinely interested in and are paying complete attention to the conversation.
3. Written Communication–
In a day, you exchange a lot of messages with your colleagues and superiors via emails and that is one of the most important typesof written communications. Therefore, it is important to use correct spellings & proper grammar and avoid errors while writing emails. However, written communication is not confined to just emails. It also includes possessing great presentation skills, implying that sharing your observations, ideas, and findings in a clear and concise manner is equally important.
How to Practice Effective Communication in the Workplace?
An important component of effective communication is to prevent misunderstandings, confusion, and conflict. Here are a few ways in which you can practice effective communication every day in the workplace:
– Be clear and concise in your communication
– Pay attention to your body language
– Maintain eye contact with the speaker/listener
– Give others a chance/ encourage others to put forward their views
– Listen attentively when others are speaking
– Avoid deviating from the topic
– Smile to keep things light
Often times it happens that people may have conflicting views and coming on a mutually agreed upon conclusion may take more efforts on one’s part. However, it is important to keep things completely professional and genuinely working towards finding a common ground.
Hope the tips shared above will help you communicate effectively and efficiently in your workplace.
All the best!
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