What is verbal communication? Why is it an essential workplace skill?
Verbal communication is a set of skills that uses language to relay information. But it's more than what you say. It's also how you speak, including non-verbal cues like body language and eye contact.
According to Decoding the Global Talent, Filipinos prefer good relationships with their bosses. Meanwhile, 6% of the global workforce appreciates diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These make communication skills vital in creating harmonious environments.
Verbal communication is essential at work. By developing this skill, you express yourself better. This prevents workplace misunderstandings and helps you build solid relationships. Take your cue from these verbal communication examples that improve oral skills:
Tone of voice is the manner in which you speak to someone and speaks more powerfully than actual words because tone conveys emotion. Meanwhile, pitch refers to how high or low someone hears your voice. With both elements, you can share messages with more impact. For instance, a positive tone displays eagerness and can motivate others. But a flat tone shows a lack of interest. This sends a wrong impression and may create conflict.
These two elements are similar. They both change the pitch and tone of your voice to convey emotion. Voice modulation is intentional. Inflection is your voice's natural rise and fall.
You must be conscious of both to increase your message's delivery and impact. For example, using various tones and pitches keeps listeners hooked, and stresses vital points.
Have you ever experienced a work error because of misinterpreted instructions? This is why giving clear and accurate information is vital. Avoid beating around the bush and giving long-winded explanations. Instead, keep your message concise and precise.
Meanwhile, pronunciation involves articulating your words to avoid miscommunication. Mispronouncing words may also harm your reputation.
How you speak to others reveals a lot about your skills, values, and background. But it's important to respect your listeners. To determine the appropriate language, consider the workplace culture.
Corporate offices and law firms often prefer formal language. In casual settings, more laid-back communication is acceptable. Avoid technical jargon. Instead, use empathetic phrases like "I understand" when apologizing to customers.
Communication is a 2-way street. When someone is speaking, give them the same attention you'd want for yourself. Let them explain; don't judge or interrupt. Non-verbal communication, such as nodding and meeting the speaker's gaze, shows interest. If you want to respond or react, wait for the speaker to finish.
Why is verbal communication important? Effective speaking boosts your ability to inspire, negotiate, engage, and persuade others. Strong verbal communication skills are necessary whether you're a leader or collaborator. Here are other ways these skills can enhance your professional life:
You and your teammates can manage expectations through verbal communication. When everyone takes turns listening and talking, you respect each other's ideas. This develops a sense of trust among members.
Clear instructions ensure everyone is on the same page, and working toward a common goal. Imagine if members had different interpretations of the same project. The result would be chaotic. But if verbal communication were constant, members would complete projects faster. This also helps teams overcome challenges and solve problems.
You should have communication skills if you work in the customer service industry. Communicate clearly for the customer's easy comprehension. When the customer talks, listen to show empathy. Your sincerity goes a long way in enhancing customer experience. This also boosts the company's brand.
Workplace conflict is inevitable. But effective communication can nip it in the bud. Verbal communication also de-escalates arguments. Skilled communicators can identify triggers, leading to a harmonious resolution.
Boosted productivity and better teamwork keeps you motivated at work. Getting positive feedback from your manager and co-workers helps you feel appreciated. When you understand your role, you can better fulfill your responsibilities. This leads to high-quality output.
Still, strong verbal communication skills can be challenging in some situations. Let's explore common communication barriers in the workplace. Learning these hindrances will allow you to understand and overcome them. This improves your methods of verbal communication.
The Decoding Global Talent report states that 49% of Filipino job seekers are willing to work for a remote employer. Thanks to technology, you can work for a foreign company without leaving the country. But this means working with superiors and teammates from different backgrounds.
Cultural differences affect our accents, communication styles, and comprehension. Stereotypes and prejudices may also result in miscommunication and misconceptions. Consider verbal communication characteristics such as tone, clarity, and non-verbal cues. This ensures we are not offending anyone on the team.
There are physical elements that hinder communication in the workplace. For example, the use of space can either impede or help employee interaction. In the past, cubicles were popular, keeping workers in their work areas. These have given way to more collaborative setups, such as open-plan offices. In addition, barrier-free workstations may allow for more accessible communication.
Another physical barrier is distance. This happens in large office spaces with many buildings, floors, and departments. Distance is also a challenge for companies with various locations.
When you're overworked and stressed, you're less likely to communicate effectively. You may need help to express yourself or comprehend valuable information. With high-stress levels, you tend to be reactive and defensive. This makes productive dialogue almost impossible.
During the pandemic, technology ensured business resilience and continuity. It now enables continuous communication in remote setups. Yet it can also hamper collaboration when glitches occur. For example, poor audio and video quality, slow connectivity, and faulty equipment can disrupt communication. This results in the poor relay of information.
An overreliance on tech tools can also be a setback. Companies might forego in-person meetings, which help foster human connection. Some employees better respond to face-to-face interaction, which technology cannot replace.
Verbal communication can make or break your team's success. But it also impacts your career growth. Communication techniques let you convey ideas, negotiate deals, and motivate team members. Here are ways to improve oral communication skills in the workplace:
Active listening means giving the speaker your undivided attention. Don't check your phone or let your eyes wander; make your teammate feel important. You can also show this by clarifying the speaker's message. Ask questions and summarize what they said to ensure you understood.
How do you make your message clear and concise? Here are some tips:
Feel free to ask them to repeat information. Verify if what you heard and understood was correct. Making assumptions only leads to errors that take time and effort to correct. But when you ask questions, you learn valuable information that boosts professional relationships.
Non-verbal communication is as crucial as its verbal counterpart. Your facial expression, voice, gestures, and eye contact reveal your emotions and thoughts. This is why being mindful of your mannerisms during a conversation is essential. For example, observe yourself in the mirror or take a video of yourself talking to a trusted colleague. You can also ask people close to you for honest feedback.
Inject a positive tone in your words and phrases to help build a harmonious workplace. For example, don't say, "That's not my job," which sounds uncaring and dismissive. Instead, try, "Let me find the right person to help you."
The second version communicates empathy and affirmation. Positive tone helps boost team morale and prevents workplace conflict. Positive language is also a must-learn for customer service professionals because they regularly manage complaints and resolve issues.
Imagine being told, "I can't do that" by someone you asked for help. You'd feel like you were dismissed. But if you hear, "Let me see what I can do to help you," you'd feel valued and respected.
Employers like self-aware employees who know their limitations and are open to feedback. Your co-workers also appreciate this quality. Be mindful of how your tone and inflection affect how you come across to others.
To play it safe, always use a friendly yet respectful tone, which inspires colleagues to do the same to you. Avoid sarcasm and a condescending tone. This displays a lack of professionalism and leadership.
If you're feeling exhausted, rest before speaking to other people. This helps you talk in a more positive tone.
Analogies and stories help listeners understand complicated and abstract concepts. With analogies, you can liken a foreign idea to a familiar concept. This lets you give a more straightforward explanation.
Explaining a new project management tool to a colleague may seem difficult. Still, when you compare its interface and capabilities to an old tool, you make it simpler.
Meanwhile, stories can capture your listener's emotions. They help you connect with your audience. Stories provide lessons and insight while driving home your point.
Verbal communication skills are essential in remote work. Employees working in different locations and cultural backgrounds need effective communication. This is vital in accomplishing common business goals. Here are some strategies to boost dialogue in a remote setting:
During video conference calls, some employees prefer to turn their cameras off. Possible reasons are poor connection or a lack of preparedness to show themselves. But if you want to maximize communication, switch on your camera. This demonstrates professionalism and helps you build a stronger connection with your teammates.
Ask if your audio is clear and if you're explaining things clearly. Feel free to ask listeners if they have questions or clarifications. If you're handling a team, request someone to summarize what you said. This way, you can check for understanding. You can also ask someone to repeat what you said in their manner, giving better clarity to others.
Learn to use shared documents, screen sharing, whiteboards, and project management platforms. All these help everyone keep track of projects and task delegation. Use communication tools to consult teammates to help project success and completion.
Sales professionals need to build rapport with clients. Through verbal communication skills, they can present their company's products and services. This convinces customers to buy them.
Through active listening and empathy, customer service industry workers make customers feel valued. This gives clients a positive experience while boosting company branding.
Teachers must deliver accurate and reliable information to students. Good verbal communication skills allow them to break down complex concepts. These also let them give feedback that helps improve their students' performance.
To defend their clients in court, lawyers must know how to defend their arguments. Verbal communication skills are vital during negotiations, examining witnesses, and speaking to clients.
Some journalists report their stories to viewers and listeners. They should know how to conduct concise and clear story-telling. They often need to interview sources. This requires strong verbal communication skills to draw out relevant answers.
By mastering verbal communication, you express your thoughts more clearly. You also learn to be an active listener. When you pick up on feedback and info, you increase job performance and satisfaction. Whatever your position and industry, competence in verbal communication can improve your career. These also help your company succeed in today's competitive marketplace.
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