|With the shift from in-person interactions to phone, email, and the Internet, strong written and interpersonal communication skills are increasingly important in the workplace.
There’s no doubt that communication skills affect a person’s career, whether in an interview, at a networking event or client meeting, or when posting to social media. While we may feel we have strong communication skills, it never hurts to consider how we can improve and to identify ways to coach our employees.
4 Easy Ways to Improve Communication:
1. Keep it positive!
Our attitudes directly impact how we interact with the world and the people around us. If we want to effect change, persuade others, or make a good impression, keeping our thoughts and words positive is key.
Michelle Riklan of Forbes’ Coaches Council recommends identifying three to five positive “what if” questions to ask yourself as you head into an important interaction. For example, ask yourself:
· What if the client likes my idea/presentation?
· What if my boss is happy with the project’s outcome?
· What if I close the deal?
Positive questions lead to positive thinking, which helps reframe our perspective.
2. Use Open Body Language
Body language can build connections or can make it look like you couldn’t care less about the person you’re interacting with. Keep your body language open by keeping your arms uncrossed and hands unclenched. Maintain a smile and make eye contact.
When presenting, stand up straight and don’t hide behind a podium – be out in the open where you can pace. Smiling and making eye contact with audience members is also important when presenting.
3. Are You Listening To Me?
Excellent leaders and managers are also excellent listeners. How often do you find yourself waiting for your turn to speak?
To listen effectively shows emotional intelligence and allows you to hear and understand what the other person is saying. Practice active listening to improve your listening skills by asking clarifying questions and rephrasing what the other person is saying to ensure you truly understand.
4. Convey Messages Clearly
Whether you’re leading a staff meeting, presenting to a client, or writing an email to a stakeholder or teammate, be clear about your intent. Be concise and use words your audience will understand. When writing an email, a proposal, or creating a slide presentation, remember to check your spelling and grammar.
Effective communication can help you close the client deal or get you your next promotion – Invest in yourself and your team by improving your communication skills!
Check out Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to get from Good to Great by Carmine Gallo or Everyone Communications, Few Connect by John Maxwell. You can also expand your leadership skills by taking an online self-paced course through our free subscription to Lynda.com. Need a library card? Email me and I’ll set you up!
What communication challenges have you or your team faced? How did you overcome them? Share below!