Communication and career success
COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND CAREER SUCCESS
Communication skills are abilities you use when giving and receiving different kinds of information. While these skills may be a regular part of your day-to-day work life,communicating in a clear,effective and efficient way is an extremely special and useful skill. Employers consistently rank communication skills as one of the commonly requested skills in 2020 job postings. Using,improving and showcasing your communication skills can help you both advance in your career and be competitive when searching for new jobs. To do your job effectively, you have to discuss problems,request information,interact with others and have good human relations skills- these are all part of having good communication skills. The ability to communicate effectively with superiors,colleagues and staff is essential no matter what industry you work in. Workers in the digital world must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone,email and social media. Good communication skills will help get hired,land promotions and be a success throughout your career. The benefits are numerous.
Four main types of communication includes:
1. Verbal: communicating by way of a spoken language. To be effective at this;
I.use a strong confident speaking voice.
II. Use active listening
III. Avoid filler words
IV. Avoid industry jargon when necessary
2. Nonverbal: communicating by way of body language,facial expressions and vocalics. To be effective at this;
I. Notice how your emotions feel physically.
II. Be intentional about your nonverbal communications.
III. Mimic nonverbal communications you find effective
3. Written: communicating by way of written language,symbols and numbers. To be effective at this;
I. Strive for simplicity
II. Don’t rely on tone
III. Take time to review your written communications
IV. Keep a file of writing you find effective or enjoyable
4. Visual: communication by way of photography,art,drawings,sketches,charts and graphs. To be effective at this;
I. Ask others before including visuals
II. Consider your audience
III. Only use visuals if they add value
IV. Make them clear and easy-to-understand
Carnegie institute of technology found that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in ‘human engineering’,personality,ability to communicate,negotiate and lead. Only 15% was due to technical ability. Social skills which includes your ability to communicate has become more important for workers because they provide an important advantage over a frequent competitor:technology. Researcher David Deming from Harvard university says social skills are the top factor for getting and keeping a job now. Social skills,especially the ability to communicate must be given the appropriate attention required.
Communication drives workplace success. Although the detriments of poorly communicating with others may not be apparent in the short term,it has crippling effect on the workplace in the long term. Here are some signs of poor communication:
I. Lack of specific communication
II. Using the incorrect mediums to convey important messages
III. Passive-aggressive communication
IV. Lack of follow-through and consideration
V. Blaming and intimidating others
VI. Failing to listen
An example of poor communication would be the RadioShack lay-off notices in 2006. The electronic chain laid off 400 employees by notifying employees by email. The company faced significant backlash following the move with many surprised it used email instead of face-to-face meetings.
Bad communication by Radioshack resulted from using the incorrect medium of communication with it’s employees. The company’s employees felt dehumanized and eventually resented the company.
COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY IN THE WORKPLACE
While there are several communication skills you will use in different scenarios,there are a few ways you can be an effective communicator at work:
BE CLEAR AND CONCISE
Making your message as easy to consume as possible reduces the chance of misunderstandings,speed up projects and helps others quickly understand your goals. Instead of speaking in long detailed sentences,practice reducing your message down to it’s core meaning. While providing context is helpful,it is best to give the most necessary information when trying to communicate your idea,instruction or message.
Understanding your colleagues feelings,ideas and goals can help you when communicating with them. For example you might need help from other departments to get a project started. If they are not willing to help or have concerns,practicing empathy can help you position your message in a way that addresses their apprehension.
At times, it is necessary to be assertive to reach your goals whether you are asking for a raise,seeking project opportunities or resisting an idea you don’t think will be beneficial. While presenting with confidence is an Important part of the workplace,you should always be respectful in conversation. Keeping an even tone and providing sound reasons for your assertions will help others be receptive to your thoughts.
BE CALM AND CONSISTENT
When there is a disagreement or conflict,it can be easy to bring emotions into your communication. It is important to remain calm when communicating with others in the workplace. Be aware of your body language by not crossing your arms or rolling your eyes. Maintaining consistent body language and keeping an even tone of voice can help you reach a conclusion peaceful and productively.
USE AND READ BODY LANGUAGE
Body language is a key part of communication in the workplace. Pay close attention to the messages people are sending with their facial expressions and movements. You should also pay close attention to the way you might be communicating (intentionally or not) with your own body language.