08 Nov Communication Skills Matter: Here’s How to Use, Improve, and Show Off Yours!
Communicating is something we all do, all the time, daily. That doesn’t mean we’re all that skilled at it!
Good communication skills are critically important in the working world. The ability to clearly share ideas, pass along instructions, and relay information is something no one should take for granted. We can all be better!
Here are some ideas on how to improve your communication skills — and use them to your benefit when looking for a new job.
Keep it simple.
We have so many competing outlets and distractions for our attention these days. When you have to share information, boil it down to the most important details without any fluff or extraneous comments. Try to be complete without providing any details that don’t get to the heart of the message.
Mind your body language.
So much of how we communicate is non-verbal. We tell people how we’re feeling — about each other, about a topic, an assignment, etc. — without saying a word. Try to keep this under control when you need to be professional and, ideally, neutral. This doesn’t mean you have to be disagreeable or that you can’t be friendly; it just means that you need to project openness and respect at all times, without letting an eyebrow twitch or nose crinkle misrepresent something.
Maintain eye contact.
This is another non-verbal cue, but it’s important enough to warrant separate consideration. When we look people in the eye, we’re showing them respect and attention. Taking notes and looking down to do so is acceptable, but letting your eyes wander behind the person who’s speaking, or looking out the window, tells them you’re not interested in what they have to say.
Be receptive to feedback.
If you’re giving a presentation, after it’s done, ask a few people you trust for their thoughts on how you did. Ask whether you spoke too quickly or too slowly. Did you use filler words, including ‘um’ and ‘like,’ too much? Was your information too high level or in the weeds? These kinds of notes will help you better prepare for your audience and provide them with the information they need next time.
Practice your listening skills.
Make a point to put away all distractions when you’re listening to someone else. Ask questions to better understand something you don’t quite get. Pay attention to what’s being said at the moment instead of thinking about what you want to say next. Take notes, if needed, to remember items to bring up later for further discussion. Sharpening your listening skills can help make you a better speaker because you’re putting yourself in your audience’s shoes for the next time.
When filling out a resume or application, keep these skills in mind and, when it’s time for an interview, have anecdotes and examples ready to show off how you’ve taken these concepts and put them into action. Good communicators are prized members of a team!
Start Building Your Career
If you’re looking for a new job, call LeadingEdge Personnel to help find the kind of company that will appreciate all the hard work you’ve put into your communication process. We work with great companies looking for someone just like you! Call LeadingEdge today, and let’s get to work.