4 tips for improving your communication skills at work

bad communication skillsGood communication is fundamental to success in the workplace and long term professional growth. It does not matter if you are talking to your fellow employees, your employer or clients, the inability to communicate well can hinder your professional growth. On the flip side, good communication skills will help you excel at your job and advance your career. With that in mind here are 4 steps that can help you to improve your communication skills.

1. Use good manners. The same good manners that your parents taught you as a child are the same good manners that will help you communicate effectively in the workplace. For example you should never underestimate the power of saying please and thank you. When you thank a client for their business or you thank a co-worker for their efforts, this shows appreciation. When people feel that they are appreciated they are more likely to respect you in return.

Another fundamental aspect of displaying good manners is being a good listener. It is important that you fight any tendency to cut people off. You have two ears and one mouth. Do you exercise that ratio accordingly?  Also you just don’t listen with your ears, but with your eyes as well. So it is good to maintain appropriate eye contact. This will show personal interest. So as you can see, your good manners can help with your professional growth.

2. Respect the personal space of others. We’ve probably all had those situations where we were confronted with a close talker. No doubt, you will agree that such a situation makes you extremely uncomfortable. With that in mind it is good not to invade the personal space of others. If needed take a couple of steps away when communicating with others. Also connected with this point, people generally don’t respond well when someone is looking over their shoulder. This can make them feel stressed and tense. So this is a good point to keep in mind if you happen to be in a supervisory position. We can also connect the respecting of personal space back to displaying good manners.

3. Give thought to the tone of written communication. If your work requires you to communicate by email or to compose memos, then you need to be concerned with your written communication. Even though direct thoughts can be effective, you want to make sure that the tone of your writing doesn’t come across as abrupt or rude. You may find it helpful to read all written correspondence out loud before you send it to others. Giving due consideration to your written communication with further your professional growth.

4. Give thought to Non Verbal Communication. We already discussed appropriate eye contact in connection with being a good listener. But, there are other forms of non verbal communication that are important for you to pay attention to as well. For example a smile can go along way with making people comfortable around you. Also gestures such as crossing your arms can make you come across as stern and present a negative image. The non verbal at times speaks just as loud as the verbal.

How are your professional communication skills? Do you see room for improvement?


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