When you think about communication as a concept, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s using words to convey your feelings or to explain a situation. But communication is about so much more than speaking (or indeed singing!) Verbal communication is essential, of course, but you may not realize how much you communicate non-verbally. Being a good communicator is about learning to communicate in a wide range of different ways, and here are just a few.
Written Communication Is Key
Working on your written communication skills is so important. Let’s start with one of the most necessary skills for anyone working in an office environment. Many people find writing to be a simple communication method, but for many of us, it’s more challenging than you might realize. It’s necessary to be concise and to get your point across without too much rambling. However, general office communication should also be warm and polite. You should also think about how to word an email if you’re reprimanding someone or raising an issue with a manager.
Know When To Say Nothing
Often, communication is about knowing when to say nothing at all. Sometimes, the person you are talking to is upset about something, or you are witnessing a disagreement at work. While there will be times when it is necessary to step in and say something, you need to understand that it is not always your place to speak. A good communicator will know how to be present without talking. Saying nothing can let the other person get something off their chest, or it can help to de-escalate a situation where tempers have become fraught. If you are unsure about this issue, it could help to test your skills. There are many options to choose from, so finding what’s best can be a bit intimidating. But one of the leaders, because of its simplicity (and the fact it’s free!), is the 3-minute online communication test offered by ZandaX. It can help you pinpoint your weaknesses and links to a range of courses that will help.
Listening Is Vital
Following on from the point above, one of the most important things we must remember is that communication is a two-way street. If you are talking without listening, then you are not communicating correctly. One of the main reasons why many people become dissatisfied at work is because they feel their voices aren’t being heard. Research has shown that interpersonal and communication skills are in high demand. If you want to look for ways to progress in your job and stand out as a candidate for promotion, then demonstrating that you are a good listener is an excellent skill. It will help you to defuse conflicts as you can engage with the reason for them instead of simply trying to stop the person from being upset. It will help you to be a part of brainstorming sessions as you can build on ideas with colleagues instead of trying to do everything yourself. It will also help you be a better team leader as you will understand the concerns of others.
Many people imagine that communication is simply a matter of writing a story, a report, or even a song, to get their message across. But we need to do it in the right way, using the right words and getting to the point. We should also know when not to say something: isn’t a pause often more effective than saying the same thing another way? And of course we need to listen, because that’s the key to knowledge, empathy – and great relationships.