How to Improve Your Professional Communication Skills
Knowing how to communicate with your coworkers is an essential skill that can make the difference between a successful work experience, and a disastrous one. Great communication can lead to happier workers, increased productivity, and a sense of team unity. Unfortunately, the only real way to get better at communicating is to practice good habits and get comfortable with them. The following techniques are foundational for improving your communication skills with your coworkers. If you actively practice these methods, you are well on your way to becoming an excellent communicator and an asset to any team.
Listen to Others Carefully
Many people may believe that listening to your coworkers only means hearing what they are saying. However, most people are actually quite bad at listening! If you find yourself interrupting, preparing your response, or assuming what the speaker is going to say next, you aren’t really listening to them. Listening to others requires hearing them out completely, paying attention to their tone, and taking careful time to respond to them.
Be Accurate and Concise
Sometimes when communicating with coworkers, you may find yourself explaining too much or going off on tangents. However, we have to remember that at work, some people may not have the time to have long discussions, or they have a time-sensitive question. If a coworker is looking for a straight answer to a question, they may not listen to you fully if you don’t directly tell them what they need to know.
To avoid this, practice being accurate and concise in your responses and figure out the most critical pieces of information you need to share. Communication skills that allow you to be more efficient and coherent will improve your workplace relationships.
Respect The Communication Preferences of Others
Every person has different communication preferences. It is a valuable skill to learn how to spot each person’s preference and communicate with them that way. For instance, if you have a coworker who responds to emails quickly but doesn’t answer their phone, you should prioritize sending them emails when you need to communicate. They will appreciate that you took care to notice their communication style and saved their time.
Recognize Your Communication Style
Of course, you also have your communication style. Pay attention to your habits, and whether your current communication skills are negatively impacting your relationships with coworkers.
By listening better, responding accurately and concisely, and respecting the communication styles of others, you can begin to build those communication skills that can serve you well at any job.
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