Communication is one of the most crucial aspects of life. We do not even realize how our life revolves around communication. Our life is all about the way we communicate with the people around us.
Many people do not understand how communication can make or break a person’s personality. The first thing that people judge is how you communicate with others. I have seen many people who are smart, dashing and educated. However, when they talk, one can feel the lack of good communication skills. Many people dress-well on the outside, but they start talking, everyone looks here and there to avoid awkwardness.
There’s nothing wrong with poor communication skills. What is wrong is that even when people have the opportunity to improve it, they still do not want to change. There can be many reasons behind this attitude. One of the prime reasons is that they don’t know they have poor communication.
Being an entrepreneur, I deal with many employees each day. Some of them are super-confident and effective communicators, while some prefer to avoid eye-contact. Communication plays a critical role in the workplace. You are always judged by the way you speak, listen, and respond.
I remember once we were having a team-building meeting. We were working on a new project, and I decided to form teams for the same. While everyone was putting their points and thoughts, I realized one of our meeting members was busy using his phone.
I all of a sudden asked him which members he wanted in his team. Baffled and surprised, he did not know what to say. He replies,” Yes, I think it is a great idea.”
Everyone started laughing, and he made a fool of himself in the meeting. He was attentive in the beginning, and though we’re still deciding if team formation was a good idea, and gave answers accordingly.
In this way, many times, we do not even realize how our personality development suffers due to poor communication. If a person truly wishes to become confident and excelled, then the first thing one needs to work upon is their way of talking.
What are good communication skills?
Effective communication is perhaps the most crucial life skill. It is how you not only pass information to other people, but also understand what is being said to you. Communication is simply an act of transferring information from one place to another. Have you seen a baby trying to communicate his words? An infant might not be able to use words but listens intently to its mother. He or she also tries to repeat the sounds that are being made.
Many people believe communication is all about the way you talk to the people around you. But, communication is a two-way process. It includes listening and responding. A person with good communication skills is someone who listens to the conversation attentively, thinks of an apt answer, and then replies.
Good communication skills take you a long way. From effective communication at the workplace to personal life to social gatherings and all other aspects depend directly on the way you communicate.
Why do you need to improve communication?
Communication might be an easy task for some, while a life-haunting task for others. Some people have a natural aptitude to say the right thing at the right time without faltering their words. The tone of a good communicator is always engaging. However, for some people communicating effectively is an uphill battle.
No matter what type of communicator you are, it is a vital component of life. All the aspects of life move around good communication. More importantly, when it comes to career opportunities, the role of good communication cannot be separated.
From relations to businesses, sales, friendships, and even family bonds, all directly depend on the way you communicate with other people.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you need to improve your communication skills.
- Construct Compatibility
The way we talk gives our first impression to the other person. In fact, the first few seconds of communication are enough for the other person to judge you. If you want to lay a favorable impression on someone, learning good communication is essential. Building compatibility is not only about forming new relations or friends. If a person wants to form profitable partnerships in businesses, then communication is the key. Well, you might not get a long time to leave an impression. Therefore, it is quite necessary to use strong communication in the form of verbal, listening, and body language.
- Builds Trust
“A man is what he speaks.” It is an old saying, but rightly defines the importance of your words. In any business or relationship, it is very critical to develop openness and trust. Communication in the workplace is a real thing. For instance, if you and your co-workers are working on a project together, it demands open and clear communication. Even if one of the team-member has poor communication, it will affect the result of the entire team.
Good communication helps you build trust and respect. When you are working in a team or individually, how efficiently you present your ideas decides everything. So, this is another reason why you should improve communication.
- Listening Skills
As I had discussed before, communication is not only about speaking, it is also about listening to the other person. Listening is a very good life-skill. A common habit that is vital in all areas of life is listening. If you are a good listener, you will definitely become a great speaker. A person who thinks about the next sentence before speaking can never lose the track of the conversation.
However, today people are in a rush! Conversations are all about responding and not about understanding. If you listen actively, you’ll be able to respond in a more targeted way. It builds an unbreakable conversation and connection. Also, it saves you both time and reduces conflicts. Poor listening is also the reason for many misunderstandings. So, improving communication will simplify your life.
- Makes You Creative
Another reason why you need to improve communication is that it leads to successful idea generation. Let us talk about the workplace, generating ideas in the business arena is necessary. But, it requires a special skill-set. Now, you might be creative and have great ideas in your head.
However, when it comes to presenting or expressing your ideas to others, you go numb. The ability to present ideas positively and clearly requires excellent communication skills.
- Leave An Impact
Today, there is cutting-edge competition for people. Every office has hundreds of employees running after one position. What will make you stand out from the crowd? Effective communication. If you speak confidently, listen attentively, and respond clearly, then no one can neglect your presence.
Many companies require employees to take greater responsibilities these days. You may be expected to present high-powered meetings or seminars. When you are expected to stand in front of an audience, you would not want to fumble. Any place where you have to speak confidently can be nerve-wracking.
Improving communication helps you overcome nerves and speak with authority. Your body language and how you reach out to the audience make all the difference. So, you need to be an avid communicator to face this fast-paced work culture.
Communication in the workplace
If after home there’s a place where you need to communicate the most, it is your workplace. Well, communication in the workplace is highly essential. From clearing interviews to managing team projects, it is your communication that can build rapport.
Being an entrepreneur, I meet many people who excel in their skills but are unable to garner a big job due to poor communication. Big companies lay a lot of emphasis on communication. It is because they want people who are good with words to spread their company’s name. When you’re an employee of a particular company, you are representing their brand. No company would prefer a person who chooses the wrong words.
At a workplace, many types of communications take place. Verbal communications, non-verbal communications, meetings, seminars, conferences, and many more. The best part is, the communication pattern remains the same.
Communication in the workplace should be clear and confident. If you want the other person to be convinced of your idea, you should be confident in what you speak. Maintaining proper body language is necessary for clear communication at the workplace.
Importance of effective team communication
When you are working in a company, significant decisions and work are done in teams. Most projects are allocated to teams rather than individual employees. Now, when one works with a team, the role of communication expands even more.
Effective team communication is a must for every employee. If you cannot stand, support, or present your team, it creates a major setback for your career. As I work with my employees, I ensure effective team communication is practiced among employees. It opens many barriers and leads to better outcomes of projects.
How to communicate in a team effectively?
When it comes to team communication, you need to make sure the communication drives unity among employees and empowers the team. Here are some ways to maintain the importance of effective team communication:
- Create team communication goals: It will ensure that the effectiveness of communication is maintained throughout the team. As a leader or manager, you can create goals that define your objectives. You can also find the areas that need improvement and work on them.
- Time-To-Time Communications: You cannot interact openly with your team if you’re doing it once in a while. Effective communication can be formed when teams communicate with each other regularly. It not only helps them understand each other but also overcomes their communication barriers.
- Clear and Specific Communication: When you are working in a team towards a common objective, your personal opinions may not match. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put them forward. You just need to make sure you talk specifically and clearly to your team.
- Stay Respectful: One major problem of team communication is diversity. Each member of the team can have a unique opinion about the same project. Your opinion might not be supported by others, but you should remain respectful and unbiased to your team members.
Top 6 Ways to Improve Communication
I have handpicked these proven ways to improve communication in the workplace and at home. By adopting these tips, you’ll become a successful and effective leader.
- Listen Attentively
People often say to me why you emphasize listening when we are here to gather communication tips. Well, it isn’t their fault! Today people believe communication is equal to talking. They often miss a very important aspect of communication, that is listening.
Take yourself as an example. When you speak to someone, you somehow want the other person to listen to you. Everyone wants to know that they are being heard. Even if you have great communication skills, but no one is listening to you, how would anyone notice?
When you involve yourself in a conversation and listen to what is being told, you communicate much better. Sitting half-mindedly in a conversation and replying without knowing the core of the situation will make you look like a fool. Listening attentively avoids misunderstandings and refines a response.
When you are in a conversation, and a person is talking to you, that person should be the most important for you at that time.
- One Conversation at a Time
Multi-tasking is the new fad. People think they are very smart and can perform multiple tasks at one time. However, when it comes to communicating, multitasking does not work. Many people think they can manage various conversations together, but the human mind is not designed this way.
I remember once I asked an employee to frame an email for an important client for me. While I was busy managing other works, I received an email to go through once. It is my habit to recheck the work before forwarding it to clients. As I went through the email, I found some very vague sentences that made no sense to the topic being discussed. I asked my employee to come to my office and read the email. I asked how he could be so irresponsible and casual about his work. As he read the email he realized what went wrong. Now, while crafting the email, he was on a phone call. He thought he was smart enough to manage both the tasks and saw his results. He mixed the two conversations. In this way, effective communication requires attention. You have to be completely involved and have one conversation at a time. Do not respond to emails while you’re on a phone call or send texts to different people at the same time. The other person easily gets to know that you’re not giving them proper attention.
- Role Of Body Language
Sometimes people think what they speak is all that matters. Well, it is not true. When it comes to effective communication, your body language plays a critical role. Your body language clearly defines your intention and idea behind communicating. For example, do you remember how in school kids learn an essay and speak it in front of the class? Yes, anyone could easily notice how they repeat like parrots whatever they’ve learned. You would not want to look like them in your office meetings. Face-to-face meetings, seminars, or video conferencing all require you to speak confidently with proper body gestures. Your body language should always be open. Do not cross your arms and sit like a potato. You should use hand gestures to effectively communicate with the audience. Another important aspect of body language is- eye contact. A person who is shy or scared would never catch the eye of the listener. However, making an eye-contact while communicating creates a lasting impression on the other person.
- Improve Communication at Home
Your improvement in communication begins at home. In fact, I believe how a person communicates largely depends on the person’s family. If all the members of your family are confident and effective speakers, you will somehow learn the same. It is because you are raised in that atmosphere.
On the other hand, many clients or young children visit me who are not allowed to present their thoughts openly. Many clients tell how their families are very strict, and no one has the liberty to share their opinions. A child raised in such an atmosphere would suffer from communication problems in the long run. Your home plays a crucial role in communication. If you wish to improve the communication skills of your child or some other family member, then you first need to create an open communication atmosphere at home. When a child learns to gather thoughts and put forward his or her opinion effectively at home, they can do it confidently in the outside world as well.
- Analyze The Content
Some people have this vague thought that if they have an audible voice and confident speech, then what they speak doesn’t matter. Communication is all about the way you present your thoughts. No matter how confident you are, if you do not have the right words to justify your thoughts, then you need to re-check.
One such is the case of acronyms and short-forms that are used by today’s generation. People have become so used to texting language that they’ve started adopting the same mannerisms in real-life conversations as well. Most of the time, many people do not even know the right meaning of the acronyms, and it can lead to misunderstandings. Effective communication is the one where you clearly define your idea and the listener is also able to catch your thoughts. A conversation verbal or non-verbal, where you are being misunderstood is of no use.
- Think before you speak
The biggest communication barrier is talking non-stop without a pause. I have seen many people who talk too fast or find conclusions without even understanding a discussion.
Effective communication requires patience. You should not throw your answers on the other person. When you are in a discussion, the other person also wants to be heard. I have seen many people who get into a conversation only to respond. Neither do they listen to the other person, nor they think before speaking.
One trait that makes you a better communicator than everyone around you is thinking before speaking. Today people are too busy to wait and think, but once you form the habit of planning your reply before venting it out, a lot of change will be experienced.
All you have to do is listen to the other person, understand the conversation and his point of view, think and frame an answer in your mind, and then use the right words to put forward your thoughts.
To move ahead in life and proceed in your career, having good communication skills will prepare you to interview well and gain the career that you want. It also helps in handling difficult situations, overcomes obstacles, showcases your abilities, building an impact, and gaining respect and trust from those who know you.