Everyone needs to communicate – it’s what connects us to others and how we share our ideas. Communication with others is key for success in all aspects of life, both with personal and professional relationships.
Professional communication can be verbal or non-verbal, encompassing the articulation of one’s thoughts and/or body language during meetings, in public speaking scenarios, or via email. Regardless of what industry you’re in, it is important to master so-called “soft skills” such as effectively communicating if you’re looking to advance into a more senior-level leadership position.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top five personal qualities or skills potential employers seek are:
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Strong work ethic
- Teamwork skills (works well with others, group communication)
- Analytical skills
Communication skills frequently make the top of the list for what qualities employers look for in all industries. Actions that professionals can take to become more successful communicators include:
It is important to concentrate on the message that someone else is communicating and exhibit behaviors such as eye contact to demonstrate your interest. Active listening also includes asking clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand what the person is expressing to you. If you listen closely, you will be able to analyze information from others better and more effectively respond to it.
Encouraging interaction through non-verbal cues
A lot of messages are communicated between people without any talking. Non-verbal signals such as posture, hand gestures, and eye contact impact how others will perceive you and your message. For example, when speaking to a larger group, even a smile that shows confidence will go a long way towards engaging others. It is important that your non-verbal cues match up with the message you are trying to get across.
Being clear and concise
Whether expressing your opinion or asking questions of others, it is critical to get to the point quickly. Stating your ideas in a straightforward way will allow others to more easily understand what you are saying.
Using persuasive reasoning
There are often times when you may have an opinion that is different from someone else, but you have to agree to go forward with one. In times like these, using logic and reason to demonstrate the strengths of your perspective will go a long way. This means providing everyone with the facts and sharing relevant examples.
Knowing your audience
You’ll communicate with people differently depending on their backgrounds, professional titles, and experiences. It will be helpful to know what your audience is expecting from your interactions, so you can surpass those expectations.
Ultimately, there are many steps that you can take to improve your communication skills. One way to learn more is to take a professional communications course. Brandeis GPS offers part-time, online courses for adult learners looking to build professional development. Contact us for more information about our professional communications courses: 781-736-8787, firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit your information.