I can communicate well."
This is a common cliche when it comes listing your skills for jobseekers. It's easy to overlook it, but you should get rid of it along with many other CV clichés. Why? Simply because you claim to have excellent communication skills does not make it true. It may actually indicate that you are unable to communicate with people about tangible skills. Your CV should be more about demonstrating your skills than just stating them. What if your communication skills are not strong? Although it's not an easy skill to master if it's not something you naturally do, it is possible. We're not going to just tell you what to do, but we will also show you how to do it. Here is another informative post on the subject.
1. Think about your audience
This applies to all communication mediums, whether written or oral. Think about the person you are talking to before you begin a conversation. Consider who they are relative to you and their position within the company. Think about any previous conversations you had with them. Consider how they communicate. Are they looking for action or detail? Next, choose the best communication method. Do they prefer to communicate via email or face-to-face? Although it sounds like you need to wait a while before you can even start, it really takes less than one minute. You'll become more comfortable with the process each time.
2. Notes: Reread the article again
This is especially important for meetings. However, it is a good idea to note all pertinent bullet points so you don't forget anything. Communication problems can lead to missed deadlines, misunderstood briefs, and projects being delayed. Write down important dates and actions from any conversation. You should review your notes after the conversation, even though you may not have been able to remember every word. You should consider how long it may take to see the notes again. Is it possible to still understand what you wrote? Communication is both positive and negative. It's important that you review any communication you send, whether it be a proposal or a report, as well as emails. Before you hit send, make sure your message is clear and concise. Make sure you're paying attention to your grammar and spelling!
Listening is the most important aspect of improving communication skills. It's also the most difficult. The first step in improving your listening skills is to be more aware of what you are doing. We can train our brains so that we can speed read large documents quickly and get the gist of them. However, it is possible to learn how to'speed listen' to focus on key points and not just the words. Lifehacker offers some great and practical tips for improving listening skills to those who are aware of their inability.
4. Develop empathy
It's difficult enough to focus on one skill and not have to worry about the others. Empathy is crucial to improve listening and communication skills. Monica Parker wrote recently about the difficulties we have in being empathetic at all times. However, there are practical tips that you can use to help you be more empathic, especially at work. It's not only a way to improve communication skills but it also makes you more productive at work.
5. Learn the art and science of networking
A 'skills laboratory' is a great way to practice your skills and measure your progress when learning something new. Networking events can be considered your communication skills laboratory. It's an art. If you are able to walk into an event and build relationships, you will be a great communicator in all aspects of your life. This is a skill that can be difficult to master, just like any other soft skill. Kelly Hoey, an Inspirefest speaker, has networked her path to her dream job. She is the best person to help you manage the room and improve your communication skills.
6. Paraphrase the conversation.
Sometimes meetings and lengthy discussions can get out-of-hand or derail. This is not a problem; sometimes the most brilliant ideas come from the shortest route. It can make communication difficult for those listening. Ask questions during any conversation until you are clear on everything. You can either clarify your main points with the person, or paraphrase the conversation as if you were explaining it to a friend. You may need clarification if you have difficulty understanding this. This is one of the best tools against miscommunication. It will increase your skills exponentially. You'll find that you need less of it over time the more you practice.
7. Practice public speaking
Although you may be certain that you won't ever have to speak publicly again in your lifetime (spoiler alert, it is very unlikely), it is one of the most important skills you can possess. Rednax recruitment agency estimates that around three quarters of Americans have anxiety about public speaking. If you are willing to face your fears and learn to communicate with large audiences, you can overcome them. You will find that your daily communications at work will become effortless if you are able to do this.