How to Improve Your Communication Effectiveness
The importance of effective communication is regularly discussed in business, but assisting staff in becoming an effective communicator is often overlooked. Communication is key to business success; in order to lead, to work, or to be innovative – you must be able to effectively convey your ideas. For those looking to improve their communication skills, the following steps should put you on the right track towards effective communication in the workplace.
Engage in both online and offline chat
Whilst email is a convenient and useful means of communication, there is also a great importance placed on face-to-face, or verbal conversations. Listening to the voice of others, and analysing body language is a great way to gauge how a person is feeling about a certain conversation. If you understand the body language of others, you will be able to better your own communication skills by using this to your advantage. If a person seems hesitant about a proposition, then you will have to work out a way to convey it differently. When discussing this via email, you have little idea of how the person on the other end is receiving your words, and this makes for a difficult process.
As a whole, people enjoy being asked what they think, and feel valued when doing so. Effective communication doesn’t just entail what you say; it is also how you act. If you are interested in your business partner or colleague’s ideas, they will be more forthcoming with them and the conversation will be more comfortable as a whole. Asking questions is also beneficial in gaining further understanding of a situation, and allows you to be well informed of all key details.
Although it is easier said than done, listening is a crucial component of effective communication. People do not enjoy continuously being talked at, and feel valued when someone takes the time to listen to their ideas. Becoming an active and engaged listener will not just make you more approachable; it will also improve your communication skills significantly. Listening will allow you to gain new knowledge, understand the views of others, and may even make you reconsider the way you approach situations from a communications perspective.
No matter what stage you are at in your career, regular reading does remarkable things for your vocabulary and greater understanding. Particularly in the business world, if you read widely, you will be able to comprehend specific jargon or language with ease. If you are unable to understand the language from the beginning, you will have issues in effectively communicating. Reading will allow you to increase your knowledge and expand your understanding of the environment in which you work – essential for effective communication.
Be precise and honest
From the beginning, effective communication must be honest and specific. You will be unable to get your point across if you are not telling the facts properly, and no one will believe you if you don’t seem honest. You must have genuine encounters with those you communicate with, and tailor the way you deliver your message to the person you are speaking with.
What do you think?
Is effective communication something you would like to work on? Please feel free to list any other steps that you believe are important in the process – I would love to hear your views.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.