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Why do we need communication skills?
Types of communication: The ways we communicate
There are four types of communication in our life: verbal, nonverbal, written and visual. Each type of communication includes multiple channels. For effective communication, we need to recognise the significance of different types of communication.
VerbalVerbal communication happens through speaking and sign languages. It is the form of communication we use for personal conversations, meetings, presentations, phone calls. Verbal communication is crucial for your business in many ways: Supervisors call out for food runners in busy kitchens, ranch hands shout to corral livestock, a sales agent use persuasive language to impress clients, team leaders motivate the members of their teams using positive language.
WrittenWritten communication is also a significant form of communication at our workplace. You can send emails, memos, SMSs, even notifications via the particular communication channel at your workplace. The most formal channels of written communication consist of books, articles, letters, contracts, quotations etc.
VisualVisual communication is very popular nowadays with videos, photographs, charts, graphs and other visual channels. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than texts.
Effective communication skills for your career
Good communication skills help you to progress at every phase of your career. Employees with robust and engaging communication skills make it to the higher ranks of an organisation rapidly. How does it boost your career? What type of goal are you trying to achieve with your communication skills? Here is a list of changes that effective communication can bring to your career.
Secure a job interview
As a job seeker, you can use your communication skills via emails, telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews. It is your first step in your career. You can create a long-lasting impression with your confident answers, attention to details, good attitude.
Enchant your audience
People with good communication skills know how to captivate their audience. You can capture the attention of your audience using different techniques. Start with something unexpected and keep telling an engaging story. Try to get to the point and arouse emotions in the audience. It’s essential to interact with the audience as passive listeners won’t help you to achieve the desired effect.
Handle and resolve conflicts
If your communication skills are sound, people count on you. You can help people to minimise miscommunication, misinterpretation. As a colleague, you can work as a mediator in a conflict resolution scenario.
Notice and respond to the attitude of the listener
As a good communicator, you keep an eye on the attitude, feelings and thoughts of your listeners or audiences. If someone appears to be inattentive, try to engage them in the conversation. You can get some ideas from the body language of the listeners. So, it is essential to catch the verbal and nonverbal signals of the people at the other end of your conversation.
Form strong and inspiring relationships
For successful negotiations, you require a healthy relationship with your clients, colleagues and managers. With good communication and presentation skills, you can inspire your team, engage your clients and build strong relationships in the long run.
Write concisely and persuasively
Your writing conveys strong messages to your clients, colleagues and superiors. If you know how to communicate effectively through emails, presentations and memos, you are going to succeed in your career.
Your communication and interpersonal skills are vital in every aspect of your job regardless of your position or rank. There is always a scope of improving your communication skills in order to strengthen your relationships for smooth progression in your career.
Tips for improving your communication skills
You realise how important your communication skills are in your career. Deep Patel mentions some ways of improving your skills over time. These are accepted techniques based on expert opinions and research data.
Work on your nonverbal communication skills
Nonverbal communication gives the first impression in a presentation. Through your physical signals, you can channel positive or negative energy. You must take the proper stance for your presentation. Don’t slouch, fold your arms or shrink yourself. Try to make eye contact and move around the space (if applicable).
Put more into communication for better output
Usually, your audience retains a lot less than your expectations. You will need to over-communicate for achieving the targeted impact. You need to repeat certain points and mention the key points at the end to summarise your discussion.
Ask for feedback
Receiving honest feedback from your peers, managers and team members, you can critically analyse your communication skills. It is necessary to figure out new areas of improvement for gradual progress in your communication skills.
Engage the audience
Even if you are a capable speaker, your audience would have limited attention spans. Make your presentations interactive. You can create live polls or ask hypothetical questions for better engagement. People need to contribute in a brainstorming session, and you must ask questions for their input.
Avoid over-reliance on visual aids
Steve Jobs and Sheryl Sandberg banned PowerPoint presentations at Apple and Facebook to reduce the negative influence of visual aids. If you read out from your slides, you cannot possibly have eye contact with your audience. Rely on your words, storytelling abilities and nonverbal cues to communicate better.
Try to speak extemporaneously
Try to speak based on the reactions of your audience. Your key points should be in your list but you have to work out a way of engaging your audience in a natural way.
Use the PIP approach
The purpose, importance, preview (PIP) approach is a common framework followed by many business experts. With PIP approach, you state the purpose of your presentation at the beginning, share the outcomes of the presentation and give a preview of the topics to be discussed. The framework helps to excite the audience about the takeaways from the presentation.
Adjust your timing
You should know what you are doing and how much time you need for that. Your time management during presentations help you to retain the attention of your audience and deliver your message on time.
Know your audience
You need to know your audience. The cultural values and expectations of your audience matter a lot in your communication. At the end of the day, your audience would define your success.
Add freshness to your presentation
People usually retain unexpected information, not the regular ones. Use something exceptional to grab their attention and delight them.
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