Communication skills are crucial as they are used extensively at every step of our lives. Most of the human resource management looks for the word "communication" in the skill section. A lot of people get hired easily based on communication skills. It is important to be good at both 'written' and 'verbal' communication skills.
Communication is an instrument used to reflect oneself. It is a process of conveying our thoughts. Communication skills also help in building great relationships with colleagues, clients, etc.
Continue reading to know the tried and tested ways of learning effective communication skills.
Most of us all might have heard that to learn communication skills we have to be good at listening. Listening is an entirely different skill.
To achieve the mark in communication skills first you need to excel at listening skills.
Don't just listen to reply to your colleagues.
Whenever you encounter yourself in a discussion with your teammates at the workplace, try to listen to what they are conveying. Treat the opposite person as your mentor and some elderly person to pay attention wildly. Rather than planning your response, consider what the other person is saying. Hearing the speaker and preparing your response at the same time is a challenge. Show genuine interest while communicating and show the speaker that you are listening actively.
Listen to understand
As said earlier, don't listen to reply but rather listen to understand. Listen as if the opposite person is teaching you a concept even if you submerge yourself in a general talk. You can use a picture or an arrangement of abstract concepts to create a mental model. Listen to the speaker's words and phrases, and do not rehearse what you will say afterward.
How to listen actively
—Use non-verbal cues such as nodding
—Maintain eye contact
—Ask questions at the end
—Clarify the doubts by asking to explain
—Use positive verbal affirmations such as "I understand", " I know", "I can relate", " Thank you" etc.,
—Demonstrating concern through facial expressions
—Do not try to interrupt, and if you absolutely have to, seek permission. For example - If I may interject or I am sorry I have to pause you here.
Participate in a lot of workshops and debates conducted by your organization. Observe the participants and their delivery of the speech. Do not just involve yourself in listening to the speech or debate of the participants. Not every debate can be organised, a lot can be witnessed during meetings and gatherings.
Observe and grasp the usage of the words. For example, how certain typical words are being placed in a sentence. Professional jargon aids in hindering a lot of filler words. Most of us are habituated to pause and use a lot of filler words such as "umm", " hmm", "like", etc. These words are fine but they impede the true expression of our language and make it look less professional.
People in a debate professionally work on their speech and you can observe and grasp them to improve your vocabulary.
Have a little book or journal to note down the new words.
Search for the meanings right after the discussion or debate.
Frame your sentences on your own using this vocabulary.
Try to use them often.
Also, observe and grasp the expression and body language of the speaker while using those vocabulary.
World's greatest people have one thing in common that is " learning attitude". To have effective communication skills one must be a long-term learner.
Try to learn as many things as possible at your workplace.
Effective communication is no longer described as two-way. Leaders need to recognize a lot more than the mechanics of sending and receiving information. Leaders must be competent to express themselves effectively without depending on two way communication.
Put yourself in the shoes of a leader, in this way you will push yourself harder to improve your communication skills.
A leader has to communicate and articulate a lot of aspects to his team. They face a lot of complexity while addressing conflict, proposing ideas, sharing information, managing ambiguity etc.
Things to remember while communicating as a leader
Listen to Engage
As a leader, your ability to listen is your most valuable communication skill. To be a good listener you need to pay attention to the message and any emotions that may be underlying it, as well as ask relevant questions about it.
People want to be noticed for their work.
Most effective compliments are specific to the situation and you can write them down so they can be re-read many times.
Be authentic and sincere
Be sincere and truthful. Get rid of corporate jargons and stop sounding like someone you aren't. Make sure your communication reflects who you are and what you value. Individuals desire and value authentic leadership and influential communication.
As a result, forget about eloquence and focus on being real instead. Don't try to hide your true self. People will never follow someone they believe to be untrustworthy.
The importance of reading cannot be overstated. The ability to read is essential for both personal and professional development. Books on a variety of topics improve one's general knowledge, imagination, and creativity, in addition to improving one's vocabulary and grammar. These benefits can also help bridge the gap between colleagues when working in distributed teams.
To get started reading start with the books you are comfortable with. Make a habit of reading books every day for a short duration. Start with 20 mins or 30 mins and gradually increase it to 1 or 2 hours.
Find the best-suited genre and immerse yourself in reading.
While going on any path we need mentors/coaches. Similarly while learning communication skills you need to have a coach who can give you one-on-one feedback. Self-learning can take a long time. And also learning through videos can make the learning monotonous.
Most of us get stuck while improving communication skills since we do not know where to get started. There are many sources to better communication skills and one of them is PRACUP which provides you experienced coaches for each of the individuals looking to brush up on certain aspects of communication skills.
Are you someone who “knows” but unable to express effortlessly?
Do you want to use the right words at the right time?
Are you looking for an expert to elevate your communication skills?
Do you think a practice buddy will help you improve your communication?
If you have answered yes to all of the above questions then you are at the right place. PracUp offers a wide range of courses in communication such as:
Practice before a Client Meeting
Prepare for a Difficult Conversation
Practice before a Job Interview
Public Speaking etc.
Above all improving communication is about consistency. Regular focus on improving the way we articulate can make our journey to excellence seem effortless.