Being able to communicate effectively at work is essential to any professional’s success regardless of which department he is working in. Most people do not pay much attention to their communication skills and as a result get easily overlooked at the time of annual promotions. Communication skills are not only important for interacting with the clients but also when interacting with co-workers and the boss.
Each and every day an employee has to interact with dozens of people, both inside the office and out of it. These people might be clients, colleagues, superiors, juniors, vendors, etc. Interacting with all of these people requires some level of communication skills as one has to interact with each person differently in order to get the best results.
Here are some tried and tested rules which will help you in learning the ropes of proper communication:
Keep It Simple & Clear:
Clarity and simplicity are the two most important aspects of being a good and effective communicator. Using too many confusing words and uttering speeches in long sentences serve no other purpose than to confuse the listener. Be direct in whatever you have to say. If you made a mistake, there is no need to spin a story on the reasons why it happened. Just admit your fault, excuse and make sure it never happens again. When dealing with a client, give a direct assessment of the situation so that the client can understand and participate in the discussion rather than confusing him with useless gibberish.
Make Your Point:
Talking about things that are not directly related to your agenda can have a negative effect as the listener will lose focus. You should state the agenda soon after you have set the ground and dwell on the important topics only. When you are articulate, the clients, boss and coworkers will take you seriously and pay more attention to your ideas.
Engage The Listener:
While being professional and articulate are important for a communicator, you need to make sure that you don’t sound cold or distant. When you are holding a conversation make sure that the listener is at ease and comfortable with the way you are talking and let him be relaxed so that he does not completely block you out.
Be a Good Listener:
The key to being an effective communicator is to become a great listener as well. Being a good listener enables you to hold the attention of the other person much longer as the other person feels involved. Whenever you are communicating with someone make sure that you give the other person a chance to express his views as well.
Communicating on the Phone:
Communication on the telephone requires you to be tactful, attentive and prepared. When you call someone you have to answer to his questions, pose your questions and make sure that you jot down all the important points of the conversation.
Before you make the call, you should have all the points you want to discuss organized and written on a sheet of paper. Also you should be expecting that the person you are calling might ask some questions so you need to be prepared to answer any relevant questions posed by the other person.
Make sure that you are concise and to the point when having a conversation on the phone since it is very important to make sure that the person you are talking to understands what you are saying perfectly. If you keep talking without waiting for input from the other end, the conversation will end without any fruitful results as you will not get your point across to the other person.
When you are talking on the phone make sure that the other person understood what was said by you and ask if he has any questions or issues he wants to discuss.
The most important part of a telephonic conversation is to make sure that you are not wasting the other person’s time. Whether you are conversing with your colleagues, boss or clients, make sure that you make your point without wasting any time at all.
Communicating via email:
Since the advent of modern technology and availability of internet in all parts of the world, email has become a very important mode for official communication. Many employees are not fully aware of the etiquettes involved in sending a professional email and hence make some very big mistakes.
The first rule of communicating via email dictates that the person writing the email should have a good command over the language. It does not mean that you need to use a lot of fancy and difficult words in the email. On the contrary, a well written email contains simple and direct language where there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes in it.
Spell check is a very important part of sending a professional email since a spelling mistake in the email is unacceptable and will create a poor impression on the reader. Always use the spell check before sending the email and if you feel more convenient, write the email in a word file and then copy it to the email box as you can format the email easily in word.
The content of the email is the most important part so make sure that you are concise, short and direct when writing an email. Writing long emails will serve no purpose as professional people do not have much time on their hands and reading lengthy emails will not only be a waste of time but the reader will also lose focus along the way and the email will fail to make an impact.
Formatting the email correctly is very important part of professional communication. Always keep in mind to use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman, which most people are comfortable reading. Also use a normal font size ranging between 11 and 14 depending on the font type and use only BLACK as the font color since it looks professional and is easy to read.
Communication skills are vital for career success in the highly competitive job market and the better we are at communicating with the coworkers, clients and the boss, the higher are our chances for success. Without effective communication, the flow of information from one department to the other stops and affects the overall performance of the organization.