Communication skills are constantly ranked as one of the most commonly required skills in job postings. Effective communication fuels the business as it keeps the business running in top-notch condition. As the world moves into advanced digital technologies, the need for effective communication skills has become even more crucial to promote collaboration and adaptability.
At every level of the company, communication is a vital tool to maintain healthy and lasting relationships. Open communication promotes trust between colleagues and employees, ultimately leading to enhanced productivity and high morale.
In an open flow of communication, employees feel their voices are being heard, and it has a positive impact on their self-esteem and the company. On the other hand, a lack of communication in an organization can result in a resentful and unmotivated workforce. Hence, effective communication serves as a backbone to an organization’s success.
Effective communication is characterized by engagement, consideration, active listening, and asking meaningful questions, and responding to them in an empathetic yet assertive manner. Effective communication oozes confidence, clarity, and graciousness in the interactions.
Communication is one of the most demanded soft skills by employers and they deem it essential for career success. The people who assume leadership positions in any organization or technical functional field are typically effective communicators.
Types of Communication
There are 4 types of communications used by everyone on daily basis, they are as follows:
- Verbal Communication:
Primarily conveyed through spoken language.
- Non-Verbal Communication:
Conveyed through body language, vocalic, and facial expressions.
- Visual Communication:
Conveyed through arts, drawing, paintings, charts, graphs, and photography.
- Written Communication:
Conveyed through written language, numbers, and symbols.
Top Communication Skills for Success at Workplace
Some of the top communication skills recruiters and employers demand in their potential employees are enumerated and described below:
- Active Listening
Active listening suggests paying close attention to the conversation at hand and actively participating in it by asking clarifying questions and rephrasing accordingly, to show interest and understanding. Practicing active listening can build respect among colleagues and also increase understanding and consideration within the team.
Oftentimes, we focus too much on putting our opinions and messages across that we forget to listen intently. An understanding of what is being told, whether in-person or any digital medium—is the foundation for shared collaboration and action.
- Understanding of Different Communication Styles
There are four major communication styles you may encounter anywhere in general and in the office in particular. All professionals should be familiar with all of these to assist in effective communication.
- Passive Communication:
It is generally characterized by a quieter demeanor. These communicators don’t express their true opinions. They may act skeptical or agreeable, based on the given situation, to keep the peace and stay afloat.
- Aggressive Communication:
It is the opposite of passive communication. Aggressive communicators typically express their emotions and opinions without any limitations or consideration for others. They may come off as intimating and often abusive in their interactions with people.
- Passive-Aggressive Communication:
This type of communication is characterized by an aloof demeanor, even if the person feels annoyed or upset. Others may get a hint of evidence of their emotions, but as they tend to avoid open conversation and confrontation, it is confusing to know what they meant.
- Assertive Communication:
Assertive communication is characterized by consideration yet expressing straightforwardly and clearly. Assertive communicators are respectful in their communication with other people.
As there are various types of communication styles, it is possible that misunderstandings may develop within the team. Hence, it is required to be familiar with our own communication style and carefully tread through the verbal and nonverbal cues of others, to get accustomed to their respective communication styles. The ability to discern your style and be flexible is so significant in building a strong basis for mutual understanding.
- Assertiveness and Persuasion
The ability to communicate clearly, assertively, and persuade others is one of the most effective soft skills in the office, and recruiters value the proficient persuasive skills in their team as it promotes productivity. This skill depends on your ability to convince people to complete a given task or behave in a required manner, generally to achieve the goals.
Communication helps in influencing the behaviors and attitudes of the employees in the workplace and also the external stakeholders. The principles of persuasion transformed into healthy and positive messages improve the impact and outcome of the transaction.
Strong persuasive communicators have the ability to read the room and take genuine notice of the audience. They are charismatic and compassionate and can make a good rapport with other people to persuade them seamlessly.
It is an essential component of the communication skills at a workplace because the team and the supervisors are expected to respond to your ideas if they are demonstrated with confidence. Confidence can be displayed through tone, eye contact, and good posture. It helps to be prepared when presenting an argument or new idea so won’t ramble on or stumble upon your words; it will help you deliver your statements with elegance and poise.
- Constructive Feedback
Strong and efficient communicators can accept critical feedback and offer constructive opinions to others. Feedback needs to answer the questions, offer solutions or help improve the project or task at hand. Accepting and offering feedback is an important skill, as it helps both the giver and the taker of the feedback to make impactful improvements in the professional development.
- Public Speaking
Communicating effectively while delivering a speech or presentation, it is critical to hook the audience and appeal to their interest. Effective communicators prepare notes to guide them throughout the presentations—it is significant to maintain good eye contact and keep them engaged while doing it.
Empathy is an essential skill as it suggests that you not only understand but are able to share the emotions of others. These significant skills are beneficial in teams and one-on-one environments. It relies on a person’s ability to understand the emotions of other people and give an appropriate response.
For instance, in times of an angry colleague or a frustrated customer, empathy can help by acknowledging and diffusing the emotion. On the other hand, being empathetic when the other person is enthusiastic and positive can give support for your ideas.
- Diversity Consideration
In a global economy, it is critical to acknowledge diversity and try to bridge the communication barriers. One of the approaches is to stay respectful and open to learning and understanding different cultural norms and apply them when the need arises.
- Digital Communication
Digital communication includes all online communication for the company. Experience and proficiency in this area are highly becoming necessary in the offices. To be proficient in digital communication, develop a growth mindset as there is a learning curve to it and the trends in digital media keep evolving.
- Written Communication
Written communication is as essential as verbal communication in the workplace. It is typically the first communication you share with the employer, even before hiring. It is important to be concise and clear in written communications.
- Conflict Management
Conflict management skills are highly significant in the workplace. Professional conflict management includes hearing all sides of the situation, the ability to empathize, and resolving the conflicts between the involved parties. Typically, conflicts can be easily dissipated with patience, compassion, and a problem-solving mindset.
Develop Your Communication Skills
A proven way to develop and polish your communication skills is to become a keen observer of the communication dynamic at your office. Be meticulous in noticing the communication practices to achieve positive results, and also the ones that challenge collaboration and mutual understanding.
Formal education plays a great role in helping you improve your communications skills. Attend communication skills classes or workshops to gain the necessary skills. Additionally, there is a wide range of skill-building programs available online.
You can also ask a close friend or coworker for constructive criticism and that will help you in polishing the areas that need improvement.
You can also improve your skills by practicing new habits that will help in becoming a better communicator. Always seek out new opportunities both off and on the office that requires you to engage your communication skills. It will help maintain the good skills afresh and allow you to practice new skills.
Effective communications skills in a workplace are an essential soft skill that the recruiters are looking for in potential employees. Communication skills for career success and advancement include active listening, constructive feedback, empathetic and considerate interaction, and persuasive transactions. It is also important to display confidence and assertiveness while communicating in a workplace as your words are expected to have a significant impact when spoken with confidence. Lastly, it is important to put your best foot forward when delivering a speech or presentation. The bottom line is effective communication is a valuable tool that ensures career success and advancement.