When it comes to work, especially remote work, honing your verbal and written communication skills in the workplace can improve your career and income. It’s true. Your job benefits when you tell a good story. In fact, Warren Buffet believes investing in your communication skills can yield a 50% greater return when it comes to the value of your talents!
These days, we see most of the communication skills in the workplace through our computer screens and smart phones, mainly through email or instant message systems like Teams, Skype, and Slack. In today’s fast-paced digital world, many are struggling to execute effective communication. With technology and processes evolving, it’s vital that you learn about emerging trends and reassess goals. Are your messages are hitting the mark? With the rapid adoption of virtual communication, technology can be a powerful tool. However, it’s important to consider in what ways your messaging needs to evolve with each platform. That takes communication skills!
Regardless of the channel you choose, the basic principles of communication remain the same. Pay attention to the purpose of your communication. The goal is to present a message that is clear, concise and easily understood. You can propel your career by communicating clearly. Empathy and consistency are key. Providing regular updates to your boss can also get you noticed! Sharpen your skills with 3 simple tips…
3 Tips to Advance Your Communication Skills in the Workplace
1. Employ clear and intentional messaging.
To elevate your communication skills, you must be conscious of your audience and surroundings. An effective message is clear and intentional. Before any exchange, it’s vital to consider the person or audience you are addressing. What is the purpose of your message? You must identify the communication objectives in advance. What is the desired outcome or response? Try to avoid using too many descriptive words or unnecessary phrases. The Balance Careers recommends conveying messages in as few words as possible. “Say what you want clearly and directly, whether you’re speaking to someone in person, on the phone, or via email. If you ramble on, your listener will either tune you out or will be unsure of exactly what you want.”
Practicing brevity is critical, especially when communicating virtually. Not only does it accommodate today’s brief attention spans and desire for all things instant, it also creates less opportunity for misinterpretation. A purpose must be immediately stated. Additionally, it mustn’t be overshadowed by flowery language or irrelevant details. When the ask is clear, there is less time needed for reading comprehension and/or back-and-forth. Therefore, the response time is faster and similarly straight forward. Consistently executing clear and conscious communications in the workplace can benefit your relationships and career.
2. Communicate with empathy.
Compassionate communication may take more effort when sending an email or instant message, rather than face-to-face. Empathy is essential to being a good communicator. Erica Dhawan’s article, Slow Down and Write Better Emails, highlights the value of taking the time to craft well-written, thorough emails. There are a few questions she suggests for email-writers to ask themselves before hitting send. One that connects with empathy is; “What tone am I projecting?” Choosing the appropriate words and delivery method can help you reach your message’s objective. By choosing a relatable tone and personalizing the dialogue, you can better connect with your message recipient(s) to improve results.
Sending a simple “Ok,” via text or email can leave a recipient with mixed emotions. What may be cut short due to time can be misconstrued without context. Regardless of the sender’s intention, an incomplete message could be conveyed as angry or indifferent. A response that expresses that you plan on giving a detailed response is better than no response or a one-word reply. And this leads me to my next point.
3. Be informed.
Relevance matters to business and communications. Always providing updates to your boss is going to help you in the long-run, 100%. According to May Busch Creating Leaders, keeping your boss updated is a secret weapon for your career. And the first step to ensuring you create that great habit is through consistent communication. At the end of each week, make it a thing to send your boss an email including a list of what you’ve been working on. Some weeks you’ll have more to say than other weeks, but regardless, they’ll appreciate the initiative and consistency conducted on your end.
So again, being clear, showing empathy, and providing informed updates to to the business can help you propel your career. You will improve as a communicator in your workplace and the people around you will surely notice improvements if implemented to the best of your ability.