The good news is that business communication skills are not innate; they can be learned. Here are the 6 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work. Whether you need to hone your presentation skills or beef up your written communications, there are steps you can take to immediately strengthen these skills to stand out in the workplace, according to snhu.edu
Improve Your Communication Skills with these ways
1. Learn How to Listen
Most people underestimate the role of nonverbal communication or body language. According to one study, body language is responsible for 55% of how listeners perceive a speaker.
For example, when you engage in active listening, you can paraphrase or summarize the message, develop thoughtful questions to seek clarification, and wait before offering an opinion.
She also urges listeners to spend a few minutes absorbing a message before offering suggestions or asking questions.
2. Perk Up Your Presentations
In a world of email, texts, and instant messages, it is easy to ignore your speaking skills until you are in front of a podium. However, employees need to know how to speak well person-to-person and in front of small or large groups. Part of improving that skill is practice, Wilkinson said and knowing what you are going to say, preparing how you’ll say it, and eliminating things that distract the listener from the main points. When presenting, Wilkinson said it’s best to tell a story and take the audience on the journey with you.
3. Master Talking on the Telephone
Phones are not primarily used to make phone calls anymore. The Millennials much prefer texting to talk, according to Forbes. Still, showing you can handle phone conversations well is a key part of business communication. The person, on the other end of the telephone, can’t see your expressions or read emotions, which is why it’s so essential to pay attention to your tone of voice. Whether you are speaking with a customer or a colleague, you should show respect and courtesy in the tone of your voice, she said.
4. Write More Effective Emails
According to Forbes, email is the most widely used tool for business communication at the workplace. Employees spend more than 6 hours sending and receiving an average of 123 emails per day. Poorly written, unclear, misleading, or ineffective emails reduce productivity and can leave a poor impression on the reader.
Think before you hit send. Understand that spell check doesn’t always pick up mistakes. Learn how to proofread what you write. Wilkinson said all these rules are important to think about each time you send an email. Oftentimes, employees are in a hurry to respond and neglect professionalism. Other tips: Less is more. Edit for clarity and understanding. Know what you want to say and what information you are looking for.
5. Collaborate Well with Remote Teams
Chances are, not everyone on your team sits in cubicles adjacent to you. A forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum called flexible work, including telecommuting and virtual teams, “one of the biggest drivers of transformation” in the workplace, while a Gallup poll found that 43% of respondents spend some time working virtually. That means that employees must develop communication skills that can help them bridge the gap between on-site and remote workers. Wilkinson said the ability to work in teams is one skill that can’t be overemphasized, as it is rare for individuals to work in a vacuum.
6. Don’t Neglect Critical Software Skills
Most employees are expected to come to work with, at minimum, proficiency in Microsoft Office programs, Wilkinson said. Understanding how to create presentations, documents and infographics is critical to successfully creating, editing, and displaying messages, she said. It’s also important for employees to be able to share and manage files with their teammates.