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10 Proven Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills

November 1, 2021

Are your communication skills lacking? Here are some ways to improve your verbal and online communication to get your message across in the most effective way possible.

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Engage Your Audience and Get Your Point Across With These Essential Communication Tips 

Whether in your personal life or business relationships, communication is critical to ensure our intentions are clearly understood. 

As far as face-to-face communication, you already know that tone of voice, eye contact, and facial expressions play a significant role in good communication. You've practiced being a good listener and always keep in mind the words you choose for clear communication. 

However, texting, social media, and emails make it easy for us to be more casual with our non-verbal communication, leading to huge misunderstandings as we miss nonverbal cues that give interactions context. 

Poor communication can have detrimental effects on your career, as well as your relationships with team members and customers. It can also lead to a miscommunication that causes tasks to be done incorrectly or missed altogether.

So how can you improve your communication skills to ensure you can share information, grow your professional network, and build strong relationships? 

Let's look at why effective workplace communication is so important and some easy ways to ensure your communication skills are up to par. 

Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash

The Importance Of Effective Communication

Communication guarantees that workplace operations are running efficiently and get rid of unnecessary problems. 

Good workplace communication skills help managers understand their employee's skills and talents and allow workers to work collaboratively towards common goals. 

When your communication skills are strong, it will benefit your personal and professional relationships. 

  • Helps Others To Understand You: Clear communication prevents miscommunication and conflict.  
  • Allows You To Better Comprehend Others: Communication is about more than just talking. People with practical communication skills are also great listeners.  
  • Displays Emotional Intelligence: When you can communicate your thoughts well, you instantly gain respect from others.  
  • Build Your Credibility: Effective communicators are viewed as trustworthy. This is especially important in sectors where trust and credibility can make or break relationships.  
  • Cultivates Strong Teamwork: Any team meeting is instantly more effective if the team members have good communication skills. 

Strong communication skills will help you run more effective, productive business meetings and ensure that your peers receive your message. 

Poor communication skills can lead to miscommunications that will have adverse effects on productivity or the work environment. 

So how can you improve your communication skills? Let's find out. 

Tips For Improving Your Communication Skills

No matter what industry you work in, good communication skills go a long way to making the other person feel valued and understood. 

And with so many communication channels available, it's essential to take a deep breath and be mindful of how you communicate with others. 

Here are some ways to become a better communicator during face-to-face and virtual interactions to make your message heard loud and clear. 

Verbal Communication

Face-to-face interactions like phone calls, video conferences, and in-person meetings give you multiple opportunities to communicate with more than just your words. 

Nonverbal cues play a critical role in these communications, so be sure that your facial expressions, tone, and body language send the right message. 

Here are some more ways you can improve your verbal communication skills. 

Practice Active Listening Skills

Communication is a two-way street. To be an effective communicator, you must be an active listener. This means exhibiting behaviors that show the other person that you are listening as much as talking. 

Here are some active listening skills you can practice during conversations. 

  • Give The Speaker All Of Your Attention
  • Keep An Open Mind
  • Respond Appropriately 
  • Nod Your Head Or Give Verbal Cues To Show You Are Listening 

When you are perceived as a good listener, others will be more receptive to your communication. 

Consider Your Audience And Setting

Effective communication means knowing your audience and environment. Think about it: you'd address your supervisor during a business meeting differently than a familiar coworker at an industry cocktail party. 

Always make sure your tone and word choice match who you are speaking to. For example, you may want to be more formal with potential clients or your boss, so avoid casual language. 

Also, be mindful of where you are. Business meetings will require a more professional approach than a team lunch meeting. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etlI6J5MG0w

Harness The Power Of Body Language 

Whether via video conference or face-to-face, your body language speaks just as much as your words. 

Body language involves your expressions, mannerisms, and behaviors that communicate your thoughts and feelings nonverbal. Most of the time, these habits are automatic and not necessarily intentional. 

However, with a bit of effort, you can control your body language to ensure you are appropriately communicating your thoughts and maintaining the correct tone. 

Take a look at some Dos and Don'ts of body language communication. 

Don’t ...

  • Cross Your Arms 
  • Slouch In Your Seat 
  • Fidget With A Pen
  • Pick At Your Clothing 
  • Doodle On Your Paper 
  • Use Your Phone Or Surf The Web

Do ...

  • Sit Up Straight 
  • Make Eye Contact 
  • Be Mindful Of Your Facial Expressions 
  • Give Your Undivided Attention 
  • Smile When Appropriate 
  • Nod Your Head 

It's important to remember that body language enhances the other person's understanding of what you are trying to say. It also provides a barometer for others to gauge our reactions to their communication. 

Always be aware of your body language, and you will accurately get your point across each time. Take Notes 

It's impossible to remember every detail communicated in a meeting. Maintain a dedicated notepad or notebook that you use at each meeting to jot down important dates, assignments, and information. 

This makes it easy to look back to confirm your to-do list or ensure you are meeting all of your deadlines

Even more, you may be able to answer questions for someone who wasn't paying as close attention as you, making you appear organized and trustworthy. 

Taking notes also demonstrates that you are taking the meeting seriously and value the other person's time. 

Online Communication

Online communication can be tricky. We've all been on the receiving end of an email, text message, or social media post that comes across as rude or insensitive. 

It's entirely possible the person didn't intend to offend, but unfortunately, they didn't use their online communication skills before they hit send. 

Due to the absence of critical indicators like facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language, it's easy to send the wrong signals and end up with a miscommunication nightmare. 

Here are some ways you can communicate effectively through the screen. 

Double Check Before Hitting Send 

Even with so many spell check and grammar checker apps, it's easy to make mistakes that get overlooked. 

Double-check everything you write to ensure your words have the intended effect. Use a thesaurus for repetitive words and make sure your spell checker didn't miss any commonly confused words. 

Have a team member or other trusted peer-review your email for errors and appropriate tone for an extra layer of protection. They will be able to lend a fresh set of eyes and ensure your message comes across correctly. 

Be Mindful What You Put In Writing 

Always take a moment for a deep breath and pause before you respond. Miscommunications can cause heightened emotions that may cause you to say things you cannot take back. 

Be conscious of what you say and how you say it in an email. Not only may your message get lost in translation, but it will be on record permanently. This will help you avoid embarrassment and conflict. 

Know When To Pick Up The Phone 

Online communication is excellent, but sometimes it's easier to make a quick phone call. Lengthy emails may get overlooked during busy times of the day, making your communication efforts ineffective. 

If you have a lot to say, sensitive topics to discuss, or essential information that needs immediate attention, pick up the phone and speak directly to others. 

This will limit the potential for miscommunication and show that you are serious about effective communication. 

Maintain A Positive Attitude

When you look on the bright side, your positive attitude will come through on all of your correspondence.

Other people will positively respond if you set the tone. Even in intense situations, remember to be positive. 

No benefit will come from being hostile. That will cause the other person to shut down, and no progress will be made. 

Develop Effective Communication Skills To Advance Your Career 

Communication is a learnable skill. Even the most seasoned professionals have room to grow when it comes to effective communication. 

Always make sure your communication is concise and to the point. Practice being brief vocally and in writing. 

And remember: practical communication skills take time to develop, so continue practicing and learning from your mistakes. Use these tips to identify which communication skills need work and focus on improving them. 

As you enhance your communication skills, you'll see others perceive you differently, and your goals become more attainable. 

FAQs

What is a digital business card? 

A digital business card is a shareable file that acts like a traditional business card but allows you to include more personalized and valuable content. 

Which app is the best for designing a digital business card? 

The best app to create a digital business card is KADO Networks. Not only can you make a card, but the app will allow you to scan paper business cards and track your networking efforts. 

What does the future of networking look like for professionals? 

The future of networking for professionals involves dedicated networking apps, customized meetups, and AI-driven networking experiences. 

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