Tips for Improving Communication Skills at Work
Proper communication truly makes the world go ‘round, and the working world is no different. Knowing how to communicate well can improve working relationships tremendously—by setting expectations and having a clear line to convey problems and solutions, everyone can be set up for a harmonious workflow that is free from easily preventable errors.
While there is no single talent that points to being an effective communicator, there are ways that people can improve their skills to listen and speak more effectively. By being a better collaborator and team member, you can increase your productivity and boost your career, too!
How to Improve Your Workplace Communication Skills
Practice speaking up. If you are not confident in your communication skills, even something that seems simple, such as sharing your ideas in a meeting, may seem like a daunting task. While it is completely normal to be uncomfortable with being on the spot, practice truly does make perfect in this instance. Practice speaking up and articulating your feelings, and it will be second nature before you know it.
Avoid speaking in absolutes. Oftentimes, poor communication skills can lead to workplace conflicts, which can lead to more communication breakdowns—it is a vicious cycle! While conflicts are certainly going to arise from time to time, handling them well can make all the difference. Avoid speaking in absolutes, such as saying something “always happens” or “never gets done” and instead focus on addressing only the issue at hand.
Do not neglect your listening skills. While we often think of communication in terms of how we speak and write, effective workplace communication also hinges on honing in on your active listening skills. Hearing other people’s points, asking followup questions and paraphrasing someone’s points to make sure you understand are all great ways to be an active listener and thus a more effective communicator.
Understand the importance of body language. Humans pick up on body language as much as we pick up on what is being said. While written communications are vitals to emails and chat messages, body language is vital for productive meetings in person and on video. Keep good posture, avoid crossing your arms and appear attentive—you may be amazed at what a difference this can make!
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