Developing communication skills can help many aspects of your life, from your professional career, to social gatherings, to your family life.In today’s hectic world, we are heavily dependent on sharing information, resulting in greater stress being placed on having good communication skills. Good oral and written communication skills are essential in order to deliver and understand information quickly and accurately. Being able to communicate effectively is an essential life skill and should not be overlooked. On the contrary, poor communication skills can have a negative impact – a poorly delivered message may result in misunderstanding, frustration and in some cases disaster. Communication can be explained as the process of understanding and sharing meaning. To communicate well is to comprehend, and be understood. This can be accomplished in the following ways:
- Verbally – your voice
- Visually – e.g. images, graphs, maps, infographics
- Non-verbally – e.g. body language, eye contact, gestures
- Written – e.g. books, websites, emails
Listening is an important part of communication
Being able to actively listen is a salient communication skill. It’s easily neglected, as people tend to focus more on what they want to say, rather than listening to what the other person is saying. Knowing when to pause to allow the other person to talk is another salient skill. It conveys respect and a willingness to hear the other person’s viewpoint. Paying attention to what the person in front of you is saying will help you and your colleagues have more open and useful exchanges, where each contributor’s point of view is expressed and heard. This should give rise to a more positive working environment.
Importance of communication skills
1. Valued in the workplace
If you are seeking a new job or looking for a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate good communication skills. Communication skills are needed to speak appropriately with a wide range of people whilst maintaining good eye contact, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience, listen effectively, present your ideas appropriately, write clearly and briefly, and work well in a group. Most of these are essential business skills that employers seek.
2. In demand by businesses
Oral and written communication proficiencies are constantly ranked in the top ten desirable skills by employer surveys year after year. Employees are often motivated to take online courses and in-person training to enhance their presentation and communication skills.
3. Helps your career progression
You will have to request information, discuss problems, give instructions, work in teams, interact with colleagues and clients. If you are to achieve co-ordination and effective teamwork, good human relations skills are essential. Also, as the workplace is also becoming more global, there are various factors to consider if you are to communicate well in such a diverse environment. Being able to deliver messages clearly and comprehend what the other person means, work can be completed more effectively and to the benefit of the company as a whole. Employers need staff who can think for themselves, use initiative and solve problems, staff who are interested in the long-term success of the company.
4. Builds better rapport with customers
Customers desire nothing more than being understood by a company and they wish to feel like they are being heard and listened to. This is a particularly a key point if your business involves a large amount of contact with customers, either face-to-face or over the phone.
5. Enhances your professional image
You want to make an exceptional first impression on your friends and family, instructors, and employer. All of them will want you to convey a positive image, as it reflects on them. In your career, you will represent your business or company in vocal and written form. Your professionalism and attention to detail will show positively on you and set you up for success.
The capability to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues and managers is essential, whatever sector you work in. Good communication enhances teams, inspires high performance and enhances the workplace culture. Always keep in mind, communication is a two-way process, so take notice of other people’s verbal and nonverbal signals as well as your own. By teaching yourself how to communicate more efficiently, you’ll interact in a more constructive and productive manner, making the workplace a positive and thriving environment.