10 Effective Communication Skills to Jump-start Your Career

10 Effective Communication Skills to Jump-start Your Career

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Regardless of the industry, you are going to work in; possessing effective communication skills to engage with your staff, colleagues, and superiors effectively. Nowadays, you must know how to effectively receive and convey messages in person and also through social media, email and over the phone/voice call.

Having effective communication skills will assist you in getting hired, promotions and be successful throughout your career. In this post, I will be sharing some of the skills you can improve to become a much prolific communicator.

10 effective communication skills to further your career

The hiring managers and recruiters would like to see this list of skills portrayed in your cover letter and resume. You will have a strong first impression when you highlight and demonstrate these skills during your interviews. Continue developing these skills once you are hired to impress your clients, teammates and the boss even more.

1. Active listening

If you genuinely want to be a good communicator, then you have to be a good listener. No one wants to interact with someone who keeps on interrupting the conversation and only cares about what he or she has to say without taking a break to listen to what the other person is saying first.

If you are a poor listener, you are going to have a hard time to understand what you are being directed to do. Always take time to practice being an active listener.

Being an active listener means that you are going to pay close attention to what the other person is saying, ask relevant questions for clarification and rephrasing what they are saying (with a phrase such as, “So, what you are saying is that…”) to show understanding and concern. You will be able to easily understand what the other person is saying and respond appropriately through active listening.

2. Providing timely feedback

Giving and receiving feedback appropriately is an essential communication skill that you need to be successful in your career, and that holds true for any level in the organization be it assistant or top management.

Supervisors and managers should always look for efficient ways to give employees or clients constructive feedback, be it through weekly status updates, phone calls, or emails. Providing timely feedback can significantly increase motivation, and it involves appreciating or giving praise with simple words like “thank you for taking the time to…” or “good job.” Also, it is important for you to encourage and accept feedback from other people. Listen to the feedback, ask relevant questions to clarify any unsure issue and make an effort to implement the feedback.

3. Speaking clearly and concisely

Effective verbal communication means that you don’t talk too little or too much; you say just enough.

Try to convey your message in as clear and concise as possible. Whether you are talking to someone through email, on the phone, or in person, say what you want directly and clearly. The one you are communicating with will either be unsure of what you want or will tune you out if you ramble on.

Before you even say it, think about what you want to say to avoid confusing your audience and talking too much.

One typical example would be: you are delivering a presentation of a solution to your customer, for instance, if you ramble and get lost in your own words, they might get confused and assume the service/product is not that great, causing a loss to both you and your company.

4. Be friendly

You will encourage your employees, coworkers, or employer to engage with you in an honest and open communication through a friendly tone, a smile or a personal question. It is essential to be polite and courteous in all your workplace communications, whether written or face-to-face communication.

To ensure that the recipient of your message feels appreciated, you can personalize your emails with a short quote such as, “I hope you enjoyed your weekend.”

This point can be controversial depending on the type of culture or country you are working on, as there are top managers who believe in more of a stern and severe approach to dealing with their staff. I have experienced working for one that only smiled once in three years, and that was at his farewell party.

5. Have empathy

Even if you are not on the same page with your employee, coworker or an employer, it is crucial for you to respect and understand their point of view. Using a phrase such as, “I understand what you mean” will show that you have been listening to what they were saying and you respect their opinion. This will ensure that the disagreement will not interrupt the workflow and performance of the daily business.

Don’t be that co-worker who is approached by someone asking for support and he replies “I don’t care, not my problem.” Instead, provided you can spare some time, say something like “I am busy with some stuff now, let me find sometime later to help you with that.”

6. Pay attention to nonverbal communication

Your tone of voice, hand gestures, eye contact, and body language shows the message you are trying to put across.

When you are relaxed with legs relaxed, arms open and have a friendly tone, you reveal yourself as approachable and encourage others to speak with you openly. Eye contact is crucial (but don’t stare because you can make the other person uncomfortable) since you show that you are focused on the conversation and the person as well.

Also, please pay attention to nonverbal signals of other people while talking because they reveal how they are really feeling. For instance, if the person you are talking to is avoiding eye contact, they might be hiding the truth, or they are uncomfortable.

Related Article: Understanding Body Language – 5 Great Tips for More Effective Presentations

7. Be open-minded

You should be flexible and open-minded if you are a good communicator. Instead of just getting your message across, be open to listen and understand the other person’s point of view. You will have more productive and honest conversations by being willing to have a dialogue even with people whom you are not on the same page.

Being able to open your mind to new ideas, new ways of looking at things and absorb them in order to better equip yourself and your team with the right tools to make decisions is, perhaps the most critical of the communication skills needed in the entrepreneurial world we’re moving into.

8. Be confident

It is essential to be confident while interacting with others. It may sound like this point does not belong to a list of communication skills, however, if you look at it from the right angle, it may just make sense to you.

Confidence demonstrates that you believe in what you are saying to your employee, coworker or an employer and you will follow through. Be careful not to sound aggressive or arrogant and always listen actively to the other person.

9. Pick the appropriate medium

Knowing what form of communication to use is one of the most important and effective communication skills you can master early on. For instance, if the person you want to speak to is very busy, you should convey your message through an email but if you’re going to have a conversation like changes in salary; it will be best to do it in person.

10. Respect others

Other people will communicate with you openly if you show respect for them and the ideas that they put across. You will make one feel appreciated when you listen actively when they speak, make eye contact, and use their name when addressing them. Stay focused and avoid continually distracting the conversation while on the phone.

By taking your time to edit your emails, you will be demonstrating respect since the recipient might think otherwise if you send a confusing and sloppily written email.

Respect people’s boundaries, cultural gaps, by addressing them with the right tone, wording, and even dress code (Yap, even that). What I mean by this in simple terms is BE CONSIDERATE!

Having effective communication skills can lead to both professional and personal success, and if you follow the above ten effective communication skills tips, you will be on the highway to jumpstart your career.

In Summary:

  1. Active Listening – listen attentively, paraphrase and ask questions to make sure that you understand the message, and that your audience feels listened to.
  2. Provide Timely Feedback – providing timely and constructive feedback is an essential skill to have and to teach your team.
  3. Speaking clearly and Concisely – try your best to give the essential message, and that’s it.
  4. Be friendly – speak politely, smile and try to be a team player.
  5. Have empathy – show concern for others, and do your best to help or at least sympathize.
  6. Pay attention to non-verbal communication – there’s more going on in any conversation than just what the person is saying.
  7. Be Open-Minded, try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and learn from that
  8. Be Confident and transmit that through your body language and words
  9. Know how to choose the best medium to convey your message
  10. Respect others, be considerate of others in your tone, wording and even dress code.

These are some of the ideas I wanted to share with you today. Thank you for reading this far, let me know what you think. What other communication skills you would add to the list and why?

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

Improving Communication: Developing Effective Communication Skills. https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/improving-communication.html. Accessed on 03/19/2019.

Communication Skills for Workplace Success. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/communication-skills-list-2063779. Accessed on 03/19/2019.

Effective Communication Skills – The Art of Communication. http://www.leadership-development-tips.com/effective-communication-skills.html. Accessed on 03/19/2019.

 

 

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Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Catarina

    Agree with you about the importance of the skills you mention in order to benefit your life one way or another. But active listening is easier said than done. I always try to listen actively and learned how to do so at MIT. But it’s not always possible if you are for instance in a hurry or get disturbed somehow. According to MIT active listening is what you do when you use all your senses to feel what the other person is saying. How often do we have time for that?

    1. Emidio Amadebai

      And, it’s not just time Catarina. Imagine, how often do we truly intend to listen to what others have to say? Most often, we are either too busy or to distracted with something else (cellphone for instance), and we end up pretending to be listening. I am the kind of person who likes to talk (and a lot), so it has been one of the most tricky skills for me to learn so far when it comes to communicating effectively.

  2. Chantal

    That is a clear overview of communication skills. I wish everyone was considerate of these and not just with respect to their career. We would all benefit if all people had great listening skills, empathy and an open mind.

    1. Emidio Amadebai

      Totally agree with you on this one Chantal. The reason why communication skills are so valuable is the fact that we are social creatures, and as such communicating with each other is such a critical skill for your personal relationships.

  3. Doreen Pendgracs

    Wonderful communication skills you have listed. Anyone wanting to polish all those skills should join Toastmasters.

  4. wagner

    Hi Emidio
    I have read your articles, and they are very inspiring a motivational
    For that I congratulate you

    But I also have a huge suggestion
    Have you ever thought about writing about

    *Depression after graduation* ( for students who have been thought by their parents since they were young that they should finish school and then get a job, or they’ll get a job once they graduate).

    I have some colleagues from college, who are still sitting at home, hoping that they will get an opportunity ( and it has been almost 3 years since a left college)
    And what follows that?

    *Depression*
    —-> The feeling of thinking that I will never win.
    “ *I have tried a lot, but nothing seems to work* “
    Because from the recent graduates, they have done what they’ve told by their parents
    “ Study and then you’ll get a job “
    But the reality proves them wrong and what follows that is a very big realization that all the time spent on studying might have been in vain.

    So what would recommend to them ??

    Keep trying?
    Look for different approaches?
    Abandon their careers and try another areas of work?
    Self-employment?

    I would love to hear your point of view on this
    And maybe you could write a case about it

    Best Regards
    Wagner

    1. Emidio Amadebai

      Hi Wagner,

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment. 🙂
      Regarding the issue of employment, coincidently enough, I was having a discussion with my brother and my cousin about this two days ago. They also have recently completed their Engineering/Geology degrees, and are currently looking for a job. In our country, the economy is weak and companies are firing more than hiring to reduce costs, which makes things even harder for them. So, I can relate to what you have just described, so much so that in the next few days, I will write down a new blog post on the topic, with the advice I gave them, as well as the tips I would give to all those going to college (with no guarantees of job waiting for them).

      Update: As promised, here’s the Blog Post with my opinion on the subject
      Tips for Unemployed Fresh Graduates (and professionals who are out of work now)

  5. Scott Gombar

    Active Listening is so important. All the tips are (confidence is another big one) but active listening is by nature difficult for people to do. I consciously make an effort to do this any time I am interacting with someone for business.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Indeed it is Scott. We must try our best to focus on the speaker, to remember the key points, paraphrase, and ask questions… And yes, leave our mobile phones out of the process.

  6. Athena

    Many of these are not just effective communication skills but they can also be effective leadership skills.

  7. Khushboo Motihar

    Listening is the most important skill one can have in any job. It is also important to effectively and clearly communicate and ensure our colleagues are able to understand us well.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      True! It’s a shame how sometimes people don’t care enough to put their mobiles phones aside when someone else is speaking to them.

  8. Cristina pop

    These are some great tips! Communication is very important, and also it’s very important to know how to communicate; not just spill out words.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Knowing your audience and their needs comes first, then the speech can be planned and fine tuned for them.

  9. Gladys Parker

    All great communication skills. I really need to get better at #2. I am terrible at replying back to comments rather they be on the blog, Twitter or Facebook.

  10. Christa

    Improving communication is something everyone can benefit from. These are all such wonderful ways to do that!

  11. Cindy Dent Gordon

    I have watched study after study prove that applying some of these techniques make a big difference in moving a career forward. Just self-presentation alone can make or break an interview.

  12. Wendy Polisi

    I love this list! So many factors make a difference in how successful a person is and how quickly their career moves forward. Attention to detail is a must.

  13. Amy h

    These are all great communication skills! I think Respect and listening to others are the 2 most important.

  14. Dianna

    You completely right about communication being able to assist you in leveling up in a career. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips in order to be successful when communicating your thoughts and needs in a professional manner.

  15. Kelli A

    These are great tips! Reminds me of that saying going around, listen to understand, not to respond!

  16. Fatima Torres

    Although all of these are important, I firmly believe in pay attention and how it can really help with communicating with others. It’s not always about how much you get out there, it’s about how much you genuinely tune in to what others are saying.

  17. Cindy Ingalls

    This list is perfection. I think a lot more people should remember these suggestions when they are in meetings. One of the most important is to listen. If you are doing all of the talking, you are going to miss out on others feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

    1. Amadebai Emidio

      Hello Cindy, thanks for the feedback. And, I agree with you on the importance of listening. 🙂

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