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If one thing 2020 has taught us it’s that you need good communication skills that are adaptable, effective and transferable across various platforms. We all know these days communication skills are vital for a high performing team and business, and as we move quickly into the digital world the importance of communication skills and developing these has increased across all industries. Whether you’re communicating online or offline, to a manager, a colleague or even to potential clients it’s important that you understand and utilise different types of communication skills to convey your message in an effective and concise way.
Active Listening is one of the most important skills you can master when communicating. There is nothing worse when you are speaking with someone and it doesn’t feel like you are being heard. Active listening means that you are making a deliberate action to understand, engage and acknowledge the other person. Examples include paraphrasing, asking questions, verbal affirmation or demonstrating concern.
Do you respond well to those who speak with a negative tone of voice? Didn’t think so. How you say something might just be the make or break of a deal, job interview or building a critical workplace relationship. When we refer to tone of voice, we’re meaning the inflection of your voice – so things like volume and pace play a critical role in how the person you are communicating with understands the intention and how they absorb your message.
To be open minded when communicating first you should not start or engage in a conversation with preconceived judgements or internal biases – sound easy? Not always. In saying that if you’re able to be consciously open minded it’ll allow you to be receptive to new information, peoples ideas, new perspectives and suggestions. Often when communicating we might unconsciously reject those who don’t think the same as we do, being open minded allows us to see difference as an opportunity – not a challenge.
Having confidence when speaking provides a level of trust and comfort with the person you’re communicating too. Confidence is a skill of authority, whether you’re speaking about a subject matter, problem-solving, describing a past experience or giving words of advice. When people lack confidence, they lack the ability to bring others on their journey and dilute the impact of their story-telling process. There are many ways to improve your self-confidence, but at the centre of this skill is your belief in you and what you are trying to communicate.
The word empathy gets thrown around alot and now more than ever empathy is important. To be empathetic means for you to be understanding, compassionate and to put yourself in another person’s shoes. Empathy is a skill that wins hearts and minds, and when delivered effectively through communication skill it will assist you in developing deep and long-lasting relationships with others. Similar to being open minded – understanding your biases will unlock your ability for you to be more authentically empathetic.
The impact of ineffective communication skills can be costly for individuals and businesses. In fact, studies have shown that poor communication skills could be costing small businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. If you’re looking for ways to develop your skills this year, improving communication skills in the workplace should be prioritised for you and your team. At Cosmitto, you can explore our communication skills courses across 17 expert providers in Australia and speak to them about how they can help you improve your communication style.
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