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The Importance Of Using Effective Communication Skills In The Workplace
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The Importance Of Using Effective Communication Skills In The Workplace

No one with any sense these days would underestimate the importance of having effective communication skills in the workplace. If you apply for a new job and get called for interview one or more of the key questions will be about the way you communicate. However, although it is a skill that we use from the moment we are born and many people would say if asked that they have excellent communication skills, this is often not the case. We are all guilty at different times in our life of not communicating well with other people, but it’s often easier to see poor communication in others rather than ourselves. If you consistently demonstrate poor communication skills in the workplace it can have a negative effect on your working relationships, your career, and your long-term success.

Effective communication skills in the workplace

Communicate a variety of information: It’s a real skill to be able to communicate simple or complex information to people, so that it is understood and acted upon. It’s important that before you try and convey information that you have thought about what you want to say and how you are going to say it.

Be open-minded: Avoid being judgemental or jumping to instant conclusions without hearing what somebody has said. If you sound judgemental you are likely to get resistance from the person or people you’re communicating with.

Active and reflective listening skills: We all know that being able to listen is an important communication skill, but it’s important not just be able to receive information, but it’s also important that you can clarify and check that you have understood someone, or you have been understood.

Negotiate and compromise: A lot of communication at work involves being able to negotiate with colleagues, clients or stakeholders. Being able to do this effectively is important for being able to build strong working relationships.

Diffuse and resolve conflict: Some people train in conflict resolution as part of their jobs, but to be an effective communicator in the workplace everyone needs to be able to recognise when conflict may arise and what steps can be taken to calm down a situation.

Give and receive feedback: Giving feedback is something that some people find quite a challenge. It’s important whether deliver positive or negative feedback that it is done in such a way that the receiver clearly understands the message.

Use a variety of verbal communication tools effectively such as being able to summarise, paraphrase, use open ended questions and reflect feeling.

Have knowledge of non-verbal communication: Having an awareness non-verbal communication is one of the most important communication skills in the workplace. It’s important not just to be aware of other people’s body language but also your own. It’s very easy to give one message with your voice and an entirely different one with your body.

Have an awareness of paraverbal messages: This may be an unfamiliar term, but parverbal messages are how we communicate through the tone, pitch and pace of our voice. A completely different meaning can be conveyed by altering the pitch or tone of your voice or putting emphasis on the wrong word. It’s an important to be aware of this as you communicate.

Give consistent messages: The most effective communicators ensure that they give consistent messages so that their messages are clear and they’re able to build strong working relationships. If there is inconsistency between the verbal, non verbal or paraverbal messages the receiver is more likely to believe the non-verbal, which can lead to confusion or feelings of distrust.

Summary

Negotiating other peoples communication skills in the workplace can sometime be a challenge, however, the more you can be aware of your own skills and the impact that they have (positive or negative), the easier it is to be aware of others. The way you communicate and the way you are perceived to communicate can have a positive or negative effect on your success in the workplace. It’s worth remembering that communication skills are like any other skill and can be learnt and improved on and it’s good to get into the habit of reviewing the success of your different communications.


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