The majority of us have been talking since we were 2 – we’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s the basis of communication and we are all seemingly experts, but there are smaller aspects of communication that many of us forget.
The top of many CV’s will include ‘Communication Skills’ as a soft skill featured, however, just because someone can have a conversation with you doesn’t mean their communication skills are perfect or even strong.
Here are 5 points we could all improve on, which will help our communication both in and outside the workplace. These skills could also be included on your specification list when qualifying candidates in an interview.
Listening is not just hearing what someone says – it’s the engagement and interest you are taking when someone is talking to you – the non-verbal ‘active listening’ and body language you are using – whether deliberate or not. Communication is a two-way street and to have great communication you must listen – actively or at least attentively.
If you’re not listening, people won’t want to have a conversation with you again.
It’s small things like eye contact, question asking and follow up emails that show you are/ were listening and were engaged in what a person was saying.
Your non-verbal communication speaks to everyone before you do. Your body language, posture and facial expressions says a great deal – giving everyone a first impression or an insight into what to expect when you open your mouth.
Try to articulate what you want people to think of you through your body language – you only get one chance!
This type of communication is rarely taught, and some would even suggest it can’t be taught. Emotional awareness is all about being mindful as to how to approach a situation and a person.
If you’re not an emotionally aware person take a few minutes to evaluate a situation before approaching it. Similarly do this with individuals too – if someone is upset about something, now isn’t the time to start pointing out a mistake they have previously made.
It’s 2019 – email, messaging services and texting are inevitable in every workplace and your written communication skills must be up to scratch.
If you didn’t pay attention in English class, this may be your downfall as punctuation and grammar are expected to be correct when communicating in writing.
If you’re not great in the department triple check your work and practise… if you’re starting out, get someone else to check your work. You can also use on-line grammar checkers – GRAMMARLY is a good one.
What does what you wear and how you wear it say about you?
This is almost a different topic but we are all prejudice, it’s in our DNA and what you wear, your hair, your personal hygiene, shoes, the car you drive the company you keep – it all communicates something about you – even it’s being misinterpreted….
Remember that everything you do will contribute to what you are communication to the world around you.