These communication skills are essential for people who want to get ahead in the business world. Whether you’re an employee, entrepreneur, manager or CEO, these skills will level up your communication. Let’s get to it.
Willingness to give and take feedback
Feedback is an important part of progress. Both being able to receive feedback graciously and gracefully as well as being able to provide feedback to your team or coworkers. When you receive feedback, don’t get discouraged, get empowered. This new knowledge or the impetus to hone your skills will enable you to do your job better. It could also help groom you for a new position or a promotion. And when giving feedback, always be kind. Commend the person on efforts and focus on problem solving.
Good virtual correspondence etiquette
Emailing like a boss is important these days when so much gets accomplished in the virtual realm, like email. Keep things succinct, get to the point, don’t stuff your email with extraneous information or details. Also, be aware of what should get communicated via email versus on the phone or in person. Reserve what is email or slack appropriate to those online platforms. Do the rest in person or on a longer phone call.
Not afraid to ask questions
Asking good questions demonstrates intelligence as well as clarity of thinking. Not asking questions does not reflect well. It might signal that the person does not care enough, the person thinks they know it all, or the person is completely confused. Asking a question because you're confused is a great reason to inquire about something. It’s all in the way you phrase it, you don’t have to come across as lazy or incompetent so don’t feel like confusion is a bad thing. Confusion is only deleterious when you’re too afraid to ask a question and resolve your confusion. So ask all the questions!
Showcasing confident nonverbals
Positive body language is very important in in-person interactions but also when over the phone when people can’t see us. Why? Because when you adopt a positive body language your frame of mind will follow suit. Notice an uptick in confidence and thus better delivery. Good body language is important regardless of whether or not the listeners can see you. When they can see you, it reflects well on your credibility, confidence and professionalism. When they can’t see you, your body and mind will feel more confident and thus project that in your voice and delivery. So either way, positive body language with an open stance, good posture and eye contact when in-person are imperative.
Doing active listening
Active listening is a leadership skill. Good leaders, competent CEOs, thought-provokers, entrepreneurs are able to do active listening. We can all identify a bad listener when we cross paths with one. They’re not fun to interact with and they surely don’t make you feel like your words have any import. And the more senior you get in your career, the more important this skill becomes. When you’re truly listening, you’re engaging all senses, you’re cognizant of not just what is being said but how it’s being said and you’re privy to the nuances of communication. If you’re not listening this way, you’ll definitely miss out on the message and this could cost the company money, productivity issues, and other expensive hiccups that could have been avoided. When we listen well, we’re getting the full picture and understanding the full objective, intentions, underlying issues of the importance of a tool you’re newly implementing.
Keeping an open mind with the ability to change your mind
Having an open mind is one side of the coin and the other is the willingness to change your mind. Just because you are assertive and people are influenced by you doesn’t mean you don’t reserve the right to change your mind or admit you were wrong the first time and have a better solution, etc. Adaptability is essential as we move forward in our careers and it’s one of the ways we can truly flourish in our jobs. This skill is important at the entry-level, when transitioning to another position, and at the C-Suite Executive level. When you’re starting at job, there’ll be a learning curve and you’re understanding how teams work and how they run things. So you’ll need to have good antennae! Gather information and collect multiple data points and use them as a springboard for adaptability. At the senior level you’re also continuing to collect information so that you can make the best decisions. And when you don’t make the best decision, it’s ok to change your mind!
Treating all with respect
This one is obviously a biggie. Regardless of the level or status of someone at a company we’ve got to treat everyone with respect. This means treating people with kindness and it also means respecting someone’s time. Time is one of the most valuable assets and unlike money, we can’t make more of it. Don’t take up too much of a person’s time. Be aware of respecting their space as well. Think about both how you interact with someone as well as how you listen to them.
Excellent. So there you have it. Seven important communication skills to succeed in the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you go to a physical workplace, have an online office or are virtually doing business in remote settings. It all comes down to these seven communication skills. Take time to really hone each one and be sure to practice them in-person as well as in virtual settings. The more you practice, the more naturally you’ll implement these techniques.
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