Nearly every professional wants to find opportunities that help them get ahead professionally. Usually, to make this possible, having the right skills is a must. And one of the biggest ones all pros need to have in spades is communication skills.
Communication skills are at the core of every professional interaction. Without them, you may struggle to convey messages clearly or collaborate with others effectively. If either of those occurs, your career may stall.
Luckily, it is possible to bolster your communication skills and to use them to get ahead. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some tips.
Make Listening Your First Priority
When people think of communication, their minds usually go to speaking. While sharing your thoughts clearly and concisely is important, it isn’t the most critical part of the equation; listening is.
Make sure that listening is always your first priority. When someone is talking, resist the urge to start formulating a response in your mind. Instead, really engage with what they are sharing. Ask thoughtful, clarifying questions. Rephrase what they are saying to ensure you understand.
By growing your listening skills, you’ll become a better communicator. You’ll learn how to gather information and figure out what people are trying to share, even when they aren’t initially apparent. This can go a long way when it comes to separating yourself from the crowd.
Embrace Multiple Communication Channels
When it comes to communication channels, everyone has unique preferences. Some people prefer actual voice-based conversations, leading them to favor phone calls or video chats. Others like email, while some prefer messengers or texting.
Many professionals settle into the communication channels they prefer. However, it’s wise to broaden what you embrace. By learning the nuances of each option, you can use whichever approach best suits the other person. Not only will you grow your overall communication skills, but you’ll stand out as being cooperative, adaptable, and accommodating.
Get to the Point Quickly
Massive emails and meandering discussions aren’t always ideal at work. Most professionals are incredibly busy. When you want to communicate effectively, brevity is your ally.
Make sure that you always get to your point quickly. Include only relevant details. Talk about any backstory only if it’s pertinent to what you’re trying to share. That way, you can expedite critical discussions, getting the answers or input you need without wasting time.
Learn the Importance of Timing
Timing matters; it’s that simple. For example, trying to rope your manager into a lengthy conversation while they are actively leaving for a meeting is a wrong move. It’s inconsiderate of their time and could leave them annoyed or frustrated.
It’s essential to recognize that everyone is juggling several priorities, and those other people are focusing on may not match yours. You need to learn when is the right time to reach out, ensuring that you don’t become intrusive or request input at an inopportune time.