Proper communication is an in-demand workplace skill. It ensures the success and productivity of an organisation. However, developing soft skills may be easier said than done. Considering the diversity in a workplace setting, which encompasses various needs and preferences, mastering effective communication has never been more crucial.
Here, we’ll highlight communication skills examples and show why these skills are important in the workplace.
What Are Communication Skills?
Communication skills are the techniques and abilities used to pass information efficiently. These encompass a range of abilities from verbal communication, such as articulating thoughts clearly, to non-verbal cues like hand gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, and written communication such as crafting clear and concise emails or reports.
Crucial for effective communication, common communication skills allow for personal, professional, and social interaction. The right skills enable people to exchange information concisely.
Remember, good communication is all about expressing your own ideas straightforwardly and understandably. It calls for confidence and assertiveness with the kind of conviction that will promote trust and credibility.
Why Are Good Communication Skills Important in the Workplace?
Top communication skills are crucial in the workplace for these reasons:
Good communication is a soft skill that fosters better collaboration among the team. When team members are giving feedback, receiving feedback, and active listening, they will understand each other’s expectations. It will be easier to build relationships as everyone works towards a common goal. When team members effectively communicate, they minimise errors and reduce misunderstandings.
Strong communication skills promote productivity. When information is passed in a concise manner, employees will perform their tasks efficiently. Effective communication allows the team to work together in harmony whereas the opposite leads to time wastage and delays, all of which hinder workplace success.
Conflict is bound to arise in any workplace. Effective communication skills often lead to easy and efficient conflict resolution. Although conflict management training is an option, through active listening, maintaining eye contact, paying attention, and proper body language, managers can bring employees to an understanding in a concise manner. This offers a positive work environment and minimises disruption. To enhance your skills further, consider incorporating these conflict management styles into your repertoire.
Good communication skills are a hallmark of good leadership. When hiring managers articulate their goals clearly, they will end up with a motivated team. When they are giving constructive feedback and delegate tasks efficiently, they help their teams build relationships, and trust and create an inclusive work environment which is equally important.
The most common communication skills play a significant role in ensuring customer satisfaction. Whether this is done through phone conversations or written correspondence, employees should offer information clearly and answer concerns promptly. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important job-specific skills that allow for the delivery of exceptional services.
Strong communication skills are highly valued in the workplace because they contribute to professional advancement. When employees can communicate effectively, they are often more recognised for their contributions. They also take on additional responsibilities, and in some cases, leadership roles. With proper communication, employees will be equipped to network, make connections, and take on greater career responsibilities.
Needless to say, good communication skills are vital in the workplace. They help in conflict resolution, enhancing productivity, ensuring customer satisfaction, and improving teamwork and employee engagement.
Types of Communication
1. Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is one of many top communication skills that involve the use of spoken words, voice, and speech clarity to communicate effectively.
A face-to-face conversation is a common example of verbal communication. It enables a speaker to convey their own ideas and organise their thoughts coherently. For instance, giving constructive feedback will ensure that you’re on the same page with your employees. This will ultimately contribute to workplace success.
2. Non-verbal Communication
On the other hand, cues like body language, facial expressions, eye contact, and hand gestures are referred to as non verbal cues. With this mode of communication, you’ll enhance verbal messages and convert attitudes and intentions. For instance, maintaining eye contact while actively listening is a way to tell another person that you’re focused on them.
This is the transmission of messages and ideas using visual elements like charts, graphs, drawings, and other forms of illustrations. This type of communication relies on visual cues to facilitate understanding. It plays a crucial role in fields such as marketing and advertising, art, and education. Visual communication used images and photographs, as well as icons and symbols.
Written communication is an example of fundamental job specific skills. Just like verbal and non-verbal communication, written communication is a soft skill that will help in effectively passing information. Whether it’s through business writing or typing up a work memo, drafting a cover letter, or sending emails or reports, this important communication skill will serve different audiences as it’s used for different purposes. Also, in this digital age, you can address your audience through emails and social media posts. Always keep them short and sweet.
Examples of Communication Skills
Empathy is a key communication skill that helps in building and maintaining healthy work relationships. It’s all about sharing feelings, understanding, and validating the experiences of others. It promotes meaningful connections through nonverbal cues, verbal communication, public speaking, and active listening.
To communicate effectively, flexibility and adaptability have to be part of the equation. It will be easy to adapt to different communication styles depending on the situation, context, or audience. For example, you’ll be able to interpret a job description, identify job specific skills, draft out a cover letter, and be good at paying attention during job interviews.
Clear and concise expression
For effective understanding and interaction between a group of people, clear and concise expression is an important communication skill that’s needed. It’s about being concise and avoiding unnecessary jargon, organising your thoughts, and being mindful of your time. The use of visual aids like graphs and charts when appropriate also plays a role in clear and concise expression.
Clarity in written communication
If you’re looking for successful communication, clarity will get the job done. It’s important to explain your ideas in a clear and easily understandable manner. Before you start writing, be an active listener, understand your purpose, and know your audience. Remember, clarity in written communication will come with practice. Continue writing from time to time and seek feedback to improve your written communication skills.
The most important communication skills are also tied to emotional intelligence. Good communicators are aware of their emotions and they can empathise with the emotions of others. With emotional intelligence, you’ll develop strong communication skills, be open to constructive criticism, and effectively communicate.
Professionalism as a communication skill is about maintaining a professional demeanor, adhering to workplace norms, and respecting boundaries when interacting with those in your workplace. This includes using respectful language, responding timely to emails or requests, and respecting privacy and personal space. It’s essential in building a positive relationship. Professionalism is also presented in the form of clear language and timely responses.
Listening skills play a big role in effective communication. With proper listening skills, you’ll be paying full attention to the speaker and understanding or responding to their messages clearly. They say, receiving feedback is just as important as giving feedback. It’s easy for an active listener to ask significant questions and receive proper feedback.
As all professionals know, presentation is part of carrying out business. Presentation skills are used to effectively deliver ideas or information to a group of people using clear language, engaging visuals, and confident speaking.
Engaging in discussions that lead to mutually acceptable agreements is the art of negotiation. With this skill, professionals can bring business offers to the table and close on them in a mutually beneficial way. They will find compromises and advocate for each other’s interests while at the same time, respecting others.
Feedback and constructive criticism
Feedback should be provided in a supportive and considerate manner. With constructive criticism you can show employees or colleagues their strengths and weaknesses by highlighting their strengths, identifying areas of improvement, and offering suggestions that will lead to growth.
How to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace
Improving communication in the workplace will help foster collaborations and maintain a positive working environment. Some strategies to improve Communication skills in the workplace are:
Foster an open and inclusive environment
Create an environment where employees will feel comfortable indulging in open dialogue. Ensure everyone has a voice and always discuss the importance of diverse perspectives.
Train employees to pay attention, respond appropriately to their employees, and have a good understanding of events. This way, you’ll be encouraging active listening and building a rapport that will help everyone feel safe and understood.
Provide regular feedback
Establish a culture of regular feedback as this will encourage employees to offer constructive criticism when needed. Ultimately this will clarify expectations, address concerns and promote growth in the workplace.
Set clear goals and expectations
Communicate set goals, deadlines, and expectations clearly to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This will align the team toward common objectives and omit any confusion that may occur.
Provide training and development opportunities
There can never be enough training and development opportunities in the workplace. Organise planned activities aimed at improving employee skills and expanding their knowledge.
The key aspects of workplace training include identifying areas of improvement in communication skills and then developing targeted training plans. For instance, utilising professional trainers or platforms like Cloud Assess can be highly beneficial in this process. Cloud Assess is a dedicated training software solution aimed at enhancing various skills, including communication.
Programs can be developed using different employee training methods and resources which may involve internal and external trainers, online learning programs, and a blend of different approaches. On-the-job training is also an effective training method as it will help employees learn as they actively carry out their duties.
Lead by example
Whether it’s hiring managers or executive committees, leaders should show a positive example for others to follow. Be approachable, and transparent in the way you conduct business, and be responsive. Encourage open communication and always listen and exchange ideas with your team members.