Tips to Maximize Your Communication Skills

John Krautzel
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The importance of developing good communication skills is sometimes overlooked, which is unfortunate since communication is an essential part of any work experience. Poor communication often leads to misunderstandings and tension, which can cause disastrous results among people working together to achieve a common goal. Having good communication skills encourages harmony and trust among colleagues, which can lead to a better work environment. Follow these tips to maximize your communication skills.

Minimize Electronic Interactions

Sending texts, emails and other electronic messages might be fast and convenient, but these should not be your primary forms of communication at work. It's essential for employees to communicate face to face, especially if there are important deadlines looming or projects that need planning. Attend all scheduled staff meetings, and engage with your co-workers afterwards. You can also make time to stop by your co-workers' desks to relay important information. Minimizing electronic interactions not only allows you to connect with colleagues on a more personal level, but it also gives you the opportunity to strengthen your face-to-face communication skills.

Improve Your Non-Verbal Communication Skills

Make sure your co-workers and clients are always comfortable interacting with you by enhancing your non-verbal communication skills. Refrain from folding your arms or making sharp gestures that can make others feel tense. Don't slouch your shoulders forward or hang your head down during conversations, as this is a sign of disinterest. Instead, present a slight smile when speaking to others so they'll know you're in a good mood and feel comfortable interacting with them. Always make eye contact to let the other parties know you're interested in what they have to say.

Ask Questions

One of the best ways to show you're interested in communicating with someone is to ask questions. Always make sure the questions you ask directly relate to the conversation, and be open to learning something new from your colleagues and managers. Asking questions is also important for gaining clarity, as some of the most basic errors can be avoided if workers were more willing to request help. If you need someone to explain a document, repeat a process or assist with a project, just ask.

Listen

Building good communication skills isn't just about talking. In order to engage and connect with people in a real way, you must be a receptive listener. Avoid constantly interrupting when others are talking, and make a solid effort to understand others' viewpoints, even if you don't agree. Try not to make assumptions or judgements until you receive all of the details about a situation, and briefly repeat or summarize the other party's words to ensure you received the correct information.

Whether you're trying to build a better relationship with co-workers or network more with potential clients, having good communication skills is vital. Maximize your communication skills so you can easily build positive, trusting relationships with others and achieve greater success in the work world.


Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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