Growth in your career depends on a lot of things besides your technical skills. You need to work well in a team; you need to get along with your boss, and you need to have a well-cultivated reputation outside of your department or team. In the larger scheme of things, networking within your industry or niche is also valuable.
Here are some quick communication tips that will help you achieve all of the above –
1. Thoughtful communication
Almost all problems, miscommunications, or conflicts could be avoided if the people involved had spent some time thinking things through before communicating. Let’s look at two situations –
- An unclear or poorly worded email or an email not copied to the right set of people can set off a chain of events that ends in a mess. If only the person sending it had reread what he/she had written or taken the time to give all instructions/information clearly it would save enormous amounts of time and effort.
(As someone who sends these confusing emails you could become known as unreliable or absentminded)
- Speaking out of anger or exchanging angry messages or emails can escalate an already stressful situation. Counting to 10 might sound like a cliché, but it always works. If you think through your arguments before you make them, they will carry more weight.
(Speaking sensibly will give you a reputation of an even-tempered and relaxed team member – someone everyone wants in a team)
2. Listen carefully
You have to practice active listening if you want to grow in any sphere of your life! No one likes people who zone out during a conversation. But listening actively is more than just appearing attentive – it means you are making a conscious effort to understand what the other person is saying – this includes not only listening but also asking questions to clarify your understanding.
(This is critical if you want to be in sync with your boss – being someone who gets instructions right in the first conversation, or someone who never forgets a thing, is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd)
3. Pay attention to Body Language – yours and everyone else’s
So much of our communication happens without words, and it is crucial to train yourself to be extremely aware of other people’s body language and nonverbal cues. It is equally essential to be conscious of your own body language so that you can project the right message or image.
(With the correct posture and gestures you can come across as someone supremely confident. Using the right mix of assertiveness and empathy can make you seem in command but not too overbearing. With practice and time, you can easily project whatever image you most desire – confident, relaxed, tough, sweet, or anything in between.)
4. Tailor communication to people and situations
Who you are talking to matters a great deal because you need to tailor your message to how that person thinks and what appeals to him/her most. Whether you are talking to your junior, your colleague, the CEO of your company, a client, or a room or hall full of people – each situation demands a different tone, language and even different parts of the same messages. For example – discussing sales target with your junior team member will require you to pass on clear instructions assertively; the same conversation will flow very differently when you are the one getting your sales target from the CEO.
(When you customise your communication to the person or the situation, then it will be sure to be clear and effective; ultimately this will help you do your work better)
We end with one last piece of advice – always be nice. No matter who you are speaking to or in what context – being polite and pleasant can never go wrong! You will be surprised to know how many people do business based on whether they like the other person or not.
Communication is not something you can’t polish up on your own; but why not learn it from the experts. At SoaringEagles, we provide high impact communication skills training that is immersive and actionable.
Call to know more.