How can you improve your workplace communication skills?

How can you improve your workplace communication skills?

How can you improve your workplace communication skills?

How can you improve your workplace communication skills? 

by Anna Kucirkova 28/06/2019

Within the workplace, it’s absolutely critical to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. No matter what business you are in, the ability to speak with precision is essential.

If you work in marketing, your ability to communicate clearly with clients and coworkers ensures you deliver the desired product. In a retail store, communication with employees and customers ensures a good customer experience. In construction, good communication will ensure worker safety and project completion to specifications. In medicine, communication about your treatment is literally a life or death situation.

Clearly, good communication in all fields is a vital element of good business and proper customer service; a necessity for a career in communications.

Of course, this raises the question: How can you improve your workplace communication skills?

We’re going to break down the what, why, and how of effective workplace communication so that you achieve the best results.

 

Know your communication types

 

Before you can improve your communication skills, you first need to know all the different things that make up workplace communication. There are probably numerous methods of communicating that you use constantly without giving them a second thought.

In our technological age, the most common form of workplace communication is email. While phone calls are still used on a frequent basis, email and other digital forms of communication (such as texts, tweets, and private messaging) are the primary methods of communication among business professionals.

Other types of digital communication that have revolutionized business are web-based meetings, video conferencing, shared online workspaces, crowd sourcing, podcasting, blogging, and community websites within and between companies.

It’s important to note that type of interchange between you and a coworker, no matter what the medium, is workplace communication and should be treated appropriately.

The critical importance of communication

 

If you think you can be effective in the workplace without having solid communication skills, you’re sorely mistaken.

Effective communication is a vital tool for any business owner or employee. Your success at clearly articulating your message can be the difference between success and failure in any business opportunity.

You should be able to clearly explain company policies to customers and clients and answer their questions about your products or services. It is crucial to communicate effectively in negotiations to ensure you achieve your goals.

You need to know know which mediums appeal to which types of people. Some people grasp messages more easily when pictures and sounds are involved. Using presentations like PowerPoint to communicate with your clients or team will give them the opportunity to refer back to it if they aren’t clear about certain things. Others prefer face to face meetings or chats over Slack.

Effective communication can help create a good working relationship between supervisors and staff, which can in turn improve morale and efficiency.

In fact, research has shown that effective communication leads to an improvement in overall company performance. It has also been discovered that employees who were graded as highest in production had received the most effective communication from their superiors.

 

Growing in communication skills 

 

In order to have successful communication, everyone must have the basic communication skills necessary to understand others and to be understood. This may sound obvious, but consider how many people aren’t taught basic communication skills and how it hurts them in the workplace.

You can often be distracted by your own thoughts, feelings and opinions and so tend to hear what you want to hear or what you expect to hear. You’re often thinking about your next move or what you should say next, or you’re trying to second guess where the other party might be leading you.

To listen effectively you need to suspend these internal thoughts and give your full attention to the speaker. Only then can you really hear what they’re saying.

Active listening also means paying attention to the speaker – both to verbal and non-verbal cues. For example, if you see them look down or appear uncomfortable in some way while saying “That’s all I can tell you at the moment,” you might deduce that they are withholding information. This type of active listening alerts you to the opportunity for a well-constructed open or probing question, to gather the missing information. If you’re not listening actively, it can be easy to miss signs like these.

BE FOCUSED

 

Do not let your attention wander. Important pieces of information can be missed if you are not alert and engaged. This can lead to misunderstandings later on, or possibly embarrassing situations where you appear to have forgotten something you have been told.

One way to help you concentrate during a business conversation is to ask the speaker questions. Not only will this help you to guide the conversation where you want it to go and at the pace you want, it can also ensure your mind is focused on the subject at hand.

Confirm what you have heard and ensure your understanding of the conversation. An easy way to do this is to clarify, paraphrase or summarize. Examples of summary question include

  • So what you’re saying is…?
  • So what you need from me is…?
  • So in summary what we’ve agreed is…?

BE CONFIDENT AND CLEAR

 

When you speak, be confident and serious to ensure that you will not be taken for granted. When listeners notice any uncertainty and lack of seriousness when you’re communicating with them, they could treat the information with disdain or disregard.

Use confident body language as well. Your body language will pass your message faster and better. Use positive body language when communicating with colleagues. Stand/sit up straight, use smiles, handshakes, and eye contact.

Also, use words that can be easily understood. When ambiguous words are used, you can be misunderstood and/or waste precious time having to explain yourself. No one is impressed with someone who tries too hard to be impressive. Be yourself and use appropriate vocabulary.

Your inflection is just as important as the words themselves. One word can mean a different thing when said in a different tone of voice. Make sure you use the appropriate tone of voice to communicate your message to your team so that you won’t be misunderstood. Misunderstandings in the workplace can and will negatively affect the work relationships that are critical to business success.

The amazing benefits of effective communication

 

There are numerous benefits of effective communication in the workplace. Excellent workplace communication can increase employee job satisfaction. Why? Because Employees feel empowered if they are able to have upward communication.

This type of communication is when information flows upward in an organization and usually consists of feedback. If bosses or managers are able to listen to employees and respond, this leads to an increase in employee job satisfaction.

In addition, employees are also happy if there is intense downward communication, which is information flowing down from superiors or managers to direct reports. Workplace communication can also have a positive effect on absenteeism and turnover rates. When employees are treated with respect, given opportunities to provide feedback, and feel like their ideas are being listened to, they are much more likely to stay with the company.

On the other hand, consider what happens when communication is lacking. Misunderstandings result in sloppy work, hurt feelings, missed deadlines, and employees being let go. A company that doesn’t prize communication is setting itself up for significant problems.

AVOID THESE TRAPS

 

If you’re going to be an outstanding, effective communicator, you also need to be aware of the things that can stand in the way. There are multiple barriers to good communication in the workplace, and many times we’re not aware of these issues.

First, heavy use of jargon, over-complicated, unfamiliar, and/or technical terms can lead to confusion, especially when dealing with clients. While these may be something an employee could understand, a client may not.

Second, there are various emotional barriers and taboos that some people may find difficult to discuss, and some topics may be completely ‘off-limits’ or taboo. Taboo or difficult topics may include, but are not limited to, politics, religion, disabilities (mental and physical), sexuality and sex, racism and any opinion that may be seen as unpopular. Be very, very careful when treading in these areas.

Third, showing a lack of interest, being distracted, or ignoring the receiver is bound to not only insult the speaker, but it can decimate any goodwill you may have with that person.

Fourth, beware of missing clues that would normally show up when speaking to someone face-to-face. Not being able to see the non-verbal cues, gestures, posture, and general body language can make communication less effective. Phone calls, text messages and other communication methods that rely on technology are often less effective than face-to-face communication. If you’re communicating digitally, keep this in mind.

Finally, there can be significant language differences and cultural differences. These include difficulty in understanding unfamiliar accents, understanding the norms of social interaction in different cultures, and the way emotions are expressed. For example, the concept of personal space varies between cultures and between different social settings. Pay close attention to this as you interact with coworkers.

BE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR

 

Will these suggestions turn you into the next great orator, inspiring millions through your powerful speeches? Probably not. But they can help you become a much more effective workplace communicator, which can pay huge dividends for your career.

You can’t afford to ignore your communication skills. The presence or absence of them will directly affect those around you, including your clients, boss, and coworkers. The good news is, you can grow in being a better communicator.

Here’s to clarity, persuasiveness and to becoming a great communicator.

 

Anna Kucirkova works as a copywriter for over 4 years. She speaks 3 languages, loves traveling and has a passion for kids and writing. While she has been to many places in Europe and South East Asia, she still wants to explore the rest of the world.

Check out her latest article about Etiquette

Anna Kucirkova

https://www.mastersincommunications.org/importance-good-etiquette/

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Platinum, Gold and Silver networking: use your connections to find a job

by John Tarnoff 19/06/2019

“Chase relationships, not job openings.” This is a mantra I share with everyone when it comes to networking.

Power Boosting your Job Search

 

The paradigm is shifting – job hunting is no longer a resume game. In the digital age, we have to be more proactive about nurturing a network of relationships to get us in the door before a job opening is even posted.

Trying to land a job without a pre-existing network today is like trying to win a war without an army. Being part of an active network significantly increases your chances of landing a job, but also landing the best job for you.

 

Activating your Network


What is an active network? It goes beyond your contact list or address book, Facebook friends, former colleagues, college classmates, or the members of your union, guild, or professional association. Knowing someone does not always equate to having an active relationship with them.  

Building a strong active network, requires you to be thoughtful and consider who best to advance your career goals. Consider who can help you get a job and also maintain a successful job. Much like all relationships, an active network requires nurture – it’s a two-way street of giving and receiving.

The first step is to focus on being a giver – a giver of encouragement, expertise, empathy, insight, support, and information. If you are perceived as a giver of time, energy, knowledge, and other resources, people will look forward to hearing from you because you will usually be offering them something: an article you just read, a valuable experience you wanted to share, and they’ll enjoy connecting with you. Giving builds trust and positions you positively. You will deliver the best impression when you network by giving, not by leading with your need.

It can be challenging, but it’s worth the investment.  Over time, your active network will reciprocate with job leads and often smart connections. But there’s more.  They will also often pre-sell you for that amazing new job opportunity.  Therefore, not only does your network become an information and referral source, they also become your cheerleading squad.  It’s a double win win for you. 

 

 

Where to begin

 

Start by dividing all the contacts in your database into three groups—Platinum, Gold, and Silver.

-Your Platinum group is your smallest group. It may include only a handful of people—but they are vitally important. They are your de facto “board of directors,” the people with whom you are closest and with whom you let your hair down and can be vulnerable. They are people with who you connect with on your career goals and practice your job interview skills. They are compassionate, encouraging, and have your best interests at heart.

 

-Your Gold group are those with whom you have a good working relationship—people who are, at the very least, “in your corner.” They are like-minded individuals who may or may not work in the same field as you. You may have done business with them as coworker, client, or vendor. You may know them socially or through your community activities. 

 

-Your Silver group is the largest, most general group. These are the people you’ve met who have the potential to be members of your Gold group. They are people whose business cards you have collected at networking events, conferences, or business meetings; friends of friends who have asked to join your network on LinkedIn; colleagues present or former whom you barely know but whom you could call or email based on shared connections.

 

In this methodology, networking contacts start out as Silver, progress to Gold, and in a few special cases wind up as Platinum. Your life and career are fluid, so your network will be, too. Your Gold and Platinum contacts may change when you get a new job or start a new business and need to develop a different set of resources. Equally as important, you will also participate as a Silver, Gold, or Platinum member of other people’s networks.

This will help you find and develop relationships with people who think as you do, appreciate what you have to offer, are grateful for the assistance and support you provide for them, and are willing to connect you to job openings, people who can hire you, or people who will help you launch your own business. Building and continually nurturing these relationships is the best way of bypassing the frustrating process of chasing after job postings and never getting a response.

 

In today’s marketplace, successfully activating your network is the best strategy to quickly finding not only a job, but the job that is best suited for you.

 

 

silvernest.com – One-stop-shop online homesharing platform – find the newest wellness trends and articles in their blog.

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The best free online tools to create a job-winning CV

The best free online tools to create a job-winning CV

The best free online tools to create a job-winning CV

The best free online tools to create a job-winning CV

by Talentese Team 13/06/2019

There’s no second chance to make the first impression – you won’t get another opportunity to impress an HR if your CV ends up in a discard pile. Grammar mistakes, inappropriate format, absence of keywords for the position – make sure your resume is an eye-catcher only in positive ways!

 

Take care of your virtual appearance on the job market with the help of free online tools to create a great CV!

1. Kickresume.com

The main problem for you is that you don’t have a proper CV at all? Then Kickresume.com might be the perfect resource to get started – it offers easily adjustable templates for different job types. You have to just fill them with your information – service will even suggest some phrases for you to use if you’re struggling to find the right words to describe your job responsibilities/studies etc.

The most basic features and templates are free, for some of them you have to upgrade for the pro version.

 

2. Canva.com

You’re quite satisfied with the content of your CV, but miss some fancy design? Use one of the hundreds of templates at canva.com – choose from the standard ones to the ones that might be a perfect fit even for a professional designer. You’re fully flexible to change not only texts but also layout elements, structure etc.

It is totally possible to create and download your CV without even spending a cent – templates are free and the only things you might have to buy extra are some design elements (e.g. backgrounds, icons) or just replace them with your own.

 

3. Grammar.ly

There’s nothing more painful than having a grammar mistake in your CV where you have “attention to details” as one of your skills. Feed the copy of your resume to the online version of the grammar.ly app or use of the offered browser extensions. The service is capable of catching spelling mistakes as well as misused words etc.

You can use all the basic features for free – standard functionalities cover all you need for checking a CV.

 

4. Skillroads.com

Do you want to learn how your CV looks in the eyes of HR managers and – as important nowadays – is appraised by automated algorithms most of the companies use to pre-filter candidates? Use skillroads.com to identify common resume problems and get some recommendations on how to fix them. Apart from basic tips on the length, styling, typos, you might actually gain some valuable insights if the wording you’re using is appropriate, if you pay enough attention to all the sections etc.

General appraisal and getting the scores are free, however, you have to pay to get some further professional editing if needed.

 

 

 

Have you heard about any of the services we’ve picked? Do you find them useful?

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