Are you presenting an annual report in a stakeholder meeting? Or are you just chatting with your workmates over coffee? In both situations, expressing yourself well is crucial to creating positive impressions. Effective communication skills can take you far in your personal and professional life.
In this article, we’ll explore examples of important communication skills. You can showcase these skills in the workplace and on your resume. We’ll also delve into different communication styles. What are the communication barriers they can create? What are the strategies for dealing with them? Boost your chances of achieving your work and life goals with this comprehensive guide.
Communication skills refer to your ability to convey information clearly and efficiently.
But communication skills are not limited to speaking, as some people may assume. They include writing and non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language. Interpersonal skills have also become a vital component for effective workplace communication. This is because job seekers and employers value workplace sensitivity these days.
So, we can categorize communication skills into verbal, non-verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.
In hisMeditations, Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius talks about the significance of virtue in our daily life. One virtue he emphasizes is effective communication.
For Marcus Aurelius, your ability to connect with others can help you navigate the world. This is especially true if you can do it despite your different backgrounds.
Improving communication skills leads to the following:
Psychologists call the way people build relationships “love language” for a reason. It’s all about communication. It’s crucial to learn how to reveal your positive and negative emotions in a healthy way.
Failure to do so can cause disagreements and misunderstandings. That's why you must communicate your needs well. You must also properly address the ways others prefer to receive care.
According to the Department of Health, 3.6 million Filipinos suffer from mental illnesses. The number could be higher because of the lack of access to mental health services.
Improving communication is a key ingredient in maintaining good mental health. If you share your concerns with your loved ones, you could reduce the effects of stress and depression. Still, seeking professional help is highly advised.
Communicating well involves understanding not only other people but also yourself better. This provides opportunities for feedback and self-reflection. Ultimately, this will help you determine your personal and professional goals.
Communicating well is as important as meeting the technical demands of your job. Effective communication lies at the heart of all productive workplace interactions.
You can get plenty of benefits from interpersonal skills, which you can apply in navigating the workplace. Communication skills also contribute to the company’s social health. Effective communication is crucial for creating and maintaining a good working environment.
The benefits of effective communication in the workplace include:
Good communication in the workplace leads to improved productivity. Giving clear instructions results in fewer misunderstandings and efficient teamwork. Effective communication develops connectedness within the workplace. This sense of connection makes employees twice as likely to be productive. To reach this, the company must offer a space for employees to interact genuinely. They must also help each other achieve work-life balance.
A study published in theInternational Journal of Business and Managementasserts that trust and commitment are forged and maintained through effective communication. The same study highlights the importance of effective communication between management and employees. Through this, the latter will feel more committed and proud about working for the company.
Trust and commitment further foster positive attitudes like pakikisama within the workplace.
And communication skills may even be more needed than before. A recent situational report states that fresh graduates in the Philippines struggle to land jobs because of a lack of soft skills. Online learning during the pandemic was listed as one of the key causes. Post-pandemic, job seekers must learn these valuable skills.
Verbal communication skills are communication skills conveyed orally. It means being a competent speaker and listener at once. Panelists in a forum, for example, not only speak but also actively listen to the other members of the panel. This determines the direction and greatly enhances the quality of their discussion.
Verbal communication skills include:
The importance of verbal communication can’t be stressed enough. It’s our default method of communication. In the workplace, you will need to speak to people some of the time.
If you’re making a sales pitch, speaking clearly and confidently about your product’s features and benefits will help convince your potential client. Additionally, using a calm and encouraging voice will make your feedback to a colleague more constructive.
Here are some simple tips to improve your verbal communication skills:
Instead of spoken language, non-verbal communication uses physical cues to express meaning. When giving feedback to your co-workers, a simple pat on the back or a handshake is just as effective as kind words.
Components of non-verbal communication skills are the following:
According to the communication expert Dr. Raymund Hall, non-verbal communication “ constitutes approximately 70% of what is involved in communication.” Statistically speaking, mastering non-verbal skills means accomplishing around 70% of the job.
Say you’re at a job interview. Maintaining eye contact will show your potential employer that you’re confident and interested in the position. Sitting up straight during a brainstorming session conveys attentiveness to your teammates.
Here are various ways you can enhance your non-verbal communication skills:
You can’t always interact with people in person. This is where your writing skills come in. Whether through email or a resume, your written communication skills will be handy.
Written communication skills consist of:
Written communication is one of the top skills employers look for in job seekers in 2023 despite the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) writing tools. Why? The famous linguist Noam Chomsky puts it this way: “ [AI tools] differ profoundly from how humans reason and use language. ” For Chomsky, AI programs have “significant limitations” and “ineradicable defects.”
In the workplace, excellent writing skills prevent errors and misunderstandings. They ensure that memos and other written announcements are clear and precise. If you’re a secretary, your recordkeeping skills will help maintain the accuracy of business undertakings and policies. This is useful for future legal and historical reference.
To improve your written communication skills, keep in mind the following:
Communication is not a one-way affair. It involves a back-and-forth between 2 or more people in a specific context. Your capacity to adjust your communication approach accordingly is called interpersonal communication.
This type of communication encompasses skills like:
When we say someone is excellent at their job, we often mean 2 things. They are technically capable, and they are nice to work with.
The workplace is all about working with people. Your relationship with colleagues and customers will affect your professional life. Your personal life, too: a Harvard longitudinal study concludes “embracing community” will help you lead a more fulfilling life.
By using empathy statements, a customer service representative can calm down an angry caller. According to a study, using a positive sense of humor in the workplace can improve employee performance and satisfaction. The same study states that this will lead to reduced stress and work withdrawal.
Here are some ways you can improve your interpersonal communication skills:
Listed below are communication skills you can put on your resume.
Take note that some of these skills can fall under 2 or more types of communication skills. Active listening, for example, is both a verbal and interpersonal communication skill. Likewise, storytelling can count as both a written and verbal communication skill.
In addition to mastering your communication skills, you should learn how others communicate. The ways they speak (or choose not to) have a significant impact on the workplace. Understanding these communication styles is a vital component in becoming an effective communicator.
Your communication style is defined by your tendencies and preferences when expressing yourself.
Do you prefer to convey your thoughts and emotions directly or indirectly? How do you deal with conflict? Would you rather speak or listen? Your answers to these questions determine your communication style.
The 4 main communication styles are the following: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. Each style can create specific situations in the workplace. Identifying and understanding them will help you navigate them successfully.
Passive communicators tend to avoid conflict. They may find it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings. They may also appear hesitant or unassertive.
In the workplace, passive communicators may be overlooked in decision-making. This is because they struggle to communicate their thoughts.
Aggressive communicators are the opposite of passive communicators. They tend to be dominant. They may dismiss others’ opinions in a meeting. As such, they may appear disrespectful to others.
Aggressive communicators can create a tense working environment, damaging team collaboration and cohesion.
Passive-aggressive communicators are a mix of the 2 previous types of communicators. Because of this, they can be unpredictable. They may seem passive, but they can find subtle means to express their discontent.
Because of their characteristics, passive-aggressive communicators can be tough to work with. Their indirect ways of expressing negative emotions make it challenging for others to address and resolve issues directly.
Assertive communicators are often confused with aggressive communicators, but there’s a significant distinction between the two. Like aggressive communicators, assertive communicators are confident in expressing their opinions and feelings. But unlike aggressive communicators, they know how to assert themselves while respecting others.
Assertive communicators are ideal workmates. They know how to effectively work with a team. They are also natural leaders. Because they respect everyone’s ideas, they create a positive workspace. This leads to better productivity and higher job satisfaction.
Here’s a list of actionable insights that you can apply to each communication style:
In summary, it’s no wonder that one of the oldest tales is about the value of communication. The Tower of Babel collapsed because the people who attempted to erect it failed to properly communicate. Effective communication is what builds your professional and personal towers. It sets a strong foundation for your career. It solidifies your connection to others and your inner self.
In a world filled with noise, effective communication skills can ensure that your message will be heard and understood. Make your voice clear and use body language intentionally. When writing, have keen attention to detail. Above all, show empathy. These skills will help you become not only a better communicator but also a better person.
You can gain communication skills through practice. Bear in mind, though, that the real challenge is to continuously improve these skills. Learning from others, as well as self-reflection, is the key.
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