Communication is the key to all solutions. Communication skills for workplace are one of the essential things in our busy lives. It will help you excel in your career and bring you closer to your workmates and managers.
Therefore, through this article, you will understand the ten essential communication skills for workplace. It doesn’t matter which career field you belong to. This article is structured for every working professionals.
Table of Contents
Why are Communication Skills Essential in the Workplace?
Communication skills are essential irrespective of which industry you work in. For example, a full-on customer-facing role in sales or marketing or an operational function such as an accountant or an IT specialist. Communication skills are essential for all types of positions. It helps break the ice between colleagues and managers at the workplace. It breaks down barriers and draws everyone together.
Moreover, a strong bond between employees of different hierarchical levels is essential. It makes working together and exchanging ideas more convenient. Good communication skills help to build a rapport among colleagues and make them more comfortable with each other.
In addition, if a workplace has a toxic environment with unfriendly people, it will directly affect the company’s growth rate. It is because there will be a high staff turnover and less productivity from all departments. These will play a significant role in tarnishing the company’s name and giving a bad reputation of one of the least workable environments.
However, some of these communication skills are so basic that some people even disregard them as “proper skills.” But, sometimes, even the most basic things prove to be the most essential. These basic and soft skills are the ones that bring out the best in an individual by showcasing their inner calibre to the outside world.
For example, while giving a presentation at your workplace, you gave your best in preparing the slides. You also all relevant information and complete statistics. But, unfortunately, failed to convey it properly to the audience. It will be considered a big failure because, if you cannot pass information through effectively, that piece of work would hold no value!
Communication Skills for Workplace
Communication skills at the workplace provide the ability for employees to connect. It also helps them to work towards a common goal towards the company’s success. As discussed earlier, having only technical and analytical skills is not enough. The absence of practical communication or soft skills acts as an obstruction. It affects your professional growth.
Hence, now that we have understood the importance of communication skills for the workplace let us know in-depth about them. Below is a list of the ten most essential communication skills for the workplace.
1. Active Listening
Active listening is one of the critical criteria for effective communication in the workplace. Being an active listener gives the other person the impression that you are listening to them and understanding. Besides, active listening makes you a good communicator. No one will enjoy having a conversation with you if you do not pay attention and reciprocate well. That is why active listening is one of the critical communication skills for workplace.
Moreover, if you are not an active listener, people will think that you are not valuing their opinions and stories. Thus, when listening to someone, try to make some gestures to make them feel that you are also participating in the conversation. Some gestures include nodding your head, smiling or having a serious face, passing small comments, etc.
Additionally, at the workplace, you will come across many situations in which you have to listen to your managers and co-workers. In these situations, you should pay utmost attention and show your active listening skills. This is to avoid misunderstandings with anyone in such cases.
In worst-case scenarios, your co-workers or managers might think that you are ignorant. So, take time and practice active listening. Pay attention to every word, rephrase what that other person is saying, and ask questions. With the help of active listening, you can connect on a deeper emotional level with the other person.
Empathy is a crucial characteristic in an individual, which helps them understand and make others feel lighter. Some people might mix empathy with being sympathetic. Sympathetic only means that you feel sorry for that person, but you are trying to understand their problems or the situation with empathy. Thus, empathy and active listening go hand in hand. You can only be empathetic towards a person if you listen to them actively.
Therefore, while listening to someone, you can use phrases such as “I can understand your situation” or “I know how you feel right now.” You can also share some stories about yourself if you have any, based on that particular situation. It helps make the other person feel that they aren’t the only ones going through that phase. This feeling will make them more comfortable sharing their feelings with you.
Also, empathy makes you non-judgemental towards someone’s situation and ever makes you look rude to someone. It also keeps the conversation going smoothly and leaves no room for any misunderstandings or biased opinions.
3. Openness to Feedback
Feedbacks can be both positive and negative. Positive feedbacks are usually given to appreciate someone’s work or effort. In contrast, negative feedback is constructive criticism because it includes suggestions for improvement. But, irrelevant of the type of feedback, everyone should be open to it.
However, if you look at the top multinational companies, you will notice that they are always coming up with ways to improve. They always come up with new ideas, learn from their mistakes, and most importantly, use the negative reviews as a tool for improvement.
Additionally, they would use feedback from everyone. It includes its client base, suppliers, employees, and shareholders. Some companies would also identify their “weaknesses” for SWOT analysis by looking at the feedback received.
Therefore, as an employee of any organisation, you will come across several different feedbacks at all phases of your career. Some feedbacks will break you down, whereas others will take you up to cloud 9! But, you should always use them to make yourself even more robust and better.
So, openness to feedback will help you learn many new things and build you into a better person. In addition, you should use them to improve your performance at the workplace and motivate yourself to work harder.
Teamwork is very crucial for all businesses and is one of the essential communication skills for workplace. You cannot expect always to work alone and not interact with your team at all. If you want to drive the best results for your organisation, teamwork is essential. Without teamwork, there would be no understanding between coworkers. Also, everyone will only be concerned about them and their performance.
Firstly, teamwork solves problems by letting everyone collaborate. Collaboration with team members will give you many solutions to solve the most complex problems in the workplace. For example, your department needs to cut down expenses on certain things to increase the profit. I can only do this by proper group brainstorming.
Secondly, you get a lot of new ideas through teamwork. Effective teamwork will let you exchange plenty of new ideas. Everyone in the team will have a different perspective to share, which will help bring a unique set of ideas. Therefore, it will be more beneficial for the business in the long run.
Lastly, if you notice that everyone hears your ideas and making important business decisions, you will feel more valued. Also, by working together, team members feel a strong level of commitment and bond with each other. This feeling helps them to work harder towards a common goal.
Workplace transparency means the organisation is very open to all its employees. When there is a level of transparency between different employees and their managers is essential. Because there will be less hesitation to share information and open up with each other.
Moreover, everyone needs to be on the same page. It will be an impractical notion to assume that everybody is in total agreement always. In addition, when one individual isn’t lined up with the organisation, everybody beneath them will be off the mark as well. Therefore, managers and employees under them should be on the same page and have a similar goal.
Also, some organisations make a lot of false promises to their employees. Later on, when the employees find out that the organisation they are working for is lying to them, they get very disheartened. It adversely affects their overall performance. Sometimes, employees are also encouraged by their managers to be dishonest to their clients. In such as situation, even if the client doesn’t figure out the truth, it still makes the corporate environment very toxic and dishonest.
6. Non-Verbal Communication
Verbal communication isn’t the only way of communicating with your colleagues at work. Several gestures can help you share with others. Eye contact, hand movements, body language, etc., are some of them. Sometimes, you can go a day at work without talking to anyone at the workplace. But still, connect with everyone with your non-verbal communication skills.
Firstly, proper eye contact is the first and most important way of communicating non verbally. It builds the initial connection and attachment between two individuals. When you maintain eye contact with someone, it shows you are interested in that person. At the workplace, proper eye contact builds a particular bond and trustworthiness.
Secondly, another medium of communication is your body language. Your body reciprocates while talking verbally or listening to someone. It is crucial since it helps the third person determine how attentive or respectful you are towards them. The way you sit, stand while speaking to someone or even the way you move your hands while talking- all of these contributes to your body language.
Lastly comes your facial expressions. If your colleague is sharing an exciting story from a recent trip, try to show that excitement in your face. It would make the other person feel irritated if you always have a regular, straight look. Try to change your facial expressions and nod your head occasionally, depending on the situation.
7. Emotional Intelligence
The exact definition of emotional intelligence is “The capacity to manage your emotions and understand them”. If you can balance your emotions properly at the workplace, it would be more beneficial for you. It will give you more room to collaborate better with your colleagues and keep you away from conflicts at the workplace.
First of all, you need to figure out which situations trigger you the most and how you react in those situations. Then, you can observe how you respond to your managers and co-workers in certain situations. Being self-aware of your emotions is very important.
Secondly, being emotionally intelligent allows you to understand non-verbal communication. So if you notice any change in someone’s behaviour through their body language, you can approach them. For instance, if you see a co-worker is not in their usual behaviour and face looks gloomy, you can ask them what’s wrong and how you can help them somehow.
Lastly, through emotional intelligence, you can get a lot of appreciation and positive feedback. This can give you promotions, and pay raises too. It is almost similar to leadership skills. Because emotional intelligence will provide you with more patience. You can also be more empathetic and spread positivity at your workplace. It is something that leaders generally do!
Confidence is the key to success, according to us. If you have all the soft skills and technical skills but lack confidence, you will not shine in your career. Confidence uplifts a person and raises their value in front of others. It is a type of communication skill that everyone should have and show all the time.
At the workplace, confidence will allow you to be more assertive. You can put forward your thoughts and ideas confidently, without any hesitation. As a result, people will give you more importance and would not question much if you decide.
Also, if you have confidence, you will try to engage in everything more. You will move out of your comfort zone and be a part of challenging and different projects at work. Getting out of your comfort zone will give you more opportunities to achieve new goals in your professional life.
Moreover, confidence will allow you to speak more precisely and will full clarity. You can communicate with people of all hierarchical levels at work and convey your ideas. For example, during a presentation, if you have confidence, you can answer all the questions asked with complete clarity. You will not get nervous. Confidence kills nervousness, which is the biggest enemy in someone’s career.
Respect is a communication skill that allows individuals to treat others well and values their opinions and ideas. At the workplace, respect should be a norm, and everyone should have that for each other, irrespective of their designation. Even if there is any personal feeling or tension involved, no one at the workplace should lose respect for others.
Most importantly, you can track down the specific qualities that you appreciate in your colleagues. The issue many organizations are confronting these days is an absence of respect in the work environment. Respect is a significant component in each work environment. It assists the representative with trying sincerely as their endeavours are valued.
Besides that, most employees want to be treated with respect and dignity, especially by their managers. They don’t want to feel that their work is not essential and is any less than others. Everyone wants to think that they are valued and respected and are treated ethically.
Thus, respect creates a fair and ethical environment at work. If there is respect, everyone will be given equal opportunities to showcase their talents. So it is regardless of their background or job title. In a respectful work environment, all employees will be treated fairly. This will motivate them further to contribute to the organization even more.
Moreover, if you respect one another at the workplace, it would reduce the stress and tension of an environment. Everyone will be more friendly towards each other and be treated equally. No one would go through an inferiority complex at work. Employees will be happy at the end of the day and feel proud of their work done. That is why showing respect is considered one of the essential communication skills for workplace.
10. Correct Communication Channel
Communication channels are the medium through which you can communicate with your co-workers. So picking the right communication channel is also one of the essential communication skills for workplace. Because at the workplace, we need to stay very formal. But also try to open up with colleagues at times to maintain a friendly and comfortable atmosphere.
There can be room for misunderstandings if the correct communication channels aren’t used at the workplace. Some tracks are considered unprofessional in a work setting. Some of these are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These channels are very unprofessional and don’t align with the workplace culture.
Moreover, communication channels are most important if you are working remotely. Since you cannot have a face-to-face conversation, staying connected to your co-workers is still necessary. Some of the most popular communication channels include- google hangouts, outlook, skype for business and zoom.
Most importantly, all employees should try to engage with each other with the channels they choose. They need to make sure there is a smooth flow of communication. Also, using inappropriate channels for workplace communication can impact your company’s success curve.
How to Acquire Communication Skills for Workplace?
If employees have excellent communication skills, it will help the business to flourish. Because good communicators drive faster results and inspire others to perform better as well. By improving communication skills for workplace, we can improve employee engagement. It also increases teamwork and raises interdepartmental communication in the workplace.
However, to acquire the skills discussed above, an individual can enrol in specific courses. It teaches them all the essential communication skills for workplace. An example of such as course is Essential Communication Skills for Professionals. This course is entirely online-based. The tutors are very qualified professionals from different career fields. You will learn all the tips and tricks for communicating like a professional and acquiring all the skills you lack. Moreover, sometimes we gain some skills through years of experience and training. But for very young professionals, who are new in a career field, it becomes difficult for them to manage at the workplace. Sometimes, it gets too overwhelming for them. That is why courses like Essential Communication Skills for Professionals, Interpersonal Skills in Management and Self esteem and confidence building course would help them. These courses are designed to help professionals acquire the essential communication skills for workplace.
Communication skills for workplace are fundamental in our day to day professional life. Without them, it makes it very difficult for us to collaborate effectively with our managers and co-workers.
Therefore, the skills discussed in this article will help you understand the importance of effective communication. It will also help you find better ways to acquire them to prosper in your career.
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