Communication skills- Why is it important? How to improve
Communication is the basis of every relationship, whether it is personal or professional. Better Communication skills and thought-sharing would lead to more efficient relationships. Communication is a two-way process of sharing thoughts and exchanging ideas with one another. At the workplace, Communication is one of the most importantly required interpersonal skills. If someone is not good and effective in Communication, he/she will always lack in relationship building, despite the fact that they are skilled enough in their field of expertise.
It can be done in different modes like- Written, Verbal, and Non-Verbal.
- Written Communication is done in a written format like- via mail, messages, notices, etc.
- Verbal Communication is when you talk to the other person, whether it is face-to-face or on audio/video calls.
- Non-Verbal Communication is the kind of gestures you use while interacting with anybody. It is also known as body language. Facial expressions, eye contact, body positioning, or body movements during Communication are considered non-verbal Communication.
Why are communication skills important?
Communication skills are considered to be one of the most important interpersonal skills, whether it is on personal or professional grounds. The way one conveys their ideas is very important to form healthy relationships. Following are the points that state why communication skills are important:
- Improve Collaboration: Effective Communication improves collaboration between team members. People tend to understand each other more, and that results in collaboration in the thoughts and actions of the team, which leads to the achievement of the goals more efficiently.
- Building connections: Those who communicate effectively and clearly with one another are said to be more connected than others. When we share our ideas and thoughts with the other person, a sense of understanding begins, and that leads to building bonds between people.
- Improved productivity: Communication leads to increased and improved productivity also. If ideas and goals are conveyed clearly, the team can undoubtedly bond better and proceed to accomplish the goals of the organization more effectively and efficiently.
- Greater motivation: Communication is not only conveying ideas; it also includes how actively and seriously that is being listened to and understood. It is a two-way process; only speaking and not listening to it actively can not lead to effective Communication. One, when one gets listened to actively, feels boosted to think more creatively and innovatively and convey or share those thoughts with others.
- Fewer workplace conflicts: If there is effective Communication between the team, all the team members will tend to understand each other in a better way, and that would lead to fewer conflicts at the workplace. Most of the time, workplace conflicts start from wrong information or the wrong way of conveying such information, and if Communication is improved; this issue will get resolved.
- Better clarity in the workflow: Better Communication leads to building connections, better team understanding, and motivation of team members, which all eventually lead to more clarity in workflow and a smooth flow of work towards the achievement of the goals of the organization.
How can Communication be improved?
- Be an active listener: Actively listening to the viewpoints of the other person is very important for effective Communication. If you listen properly, then only you can reply to the said efficiently. Moreover, actively listening to someone boosts their morale also to speak out loud and confidently while expressing their thoughts.
- Be precise and clear: Always make sure to convey your ideas in a clear and concise manner. Unclear and vague discussions would never lead to effective Communication. Use simple and straightforward language to avoid confusion. Confirmation and clarification are also very important. If anything is not clearly understandable, ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings. Summarize the main points of the conversation to ensure that you are on the same page.
- Tailor your message targeting your audience: Always make sure to be prepared with the content to be presented, and it should be drafted by keeping in mind the division of audience it is being drafted for. Adjust your language, tone, and level of detail accordingly. The way you communicate should suit the needs and preferences of the people you are interacting with. Focus on the behavior or the issue rather than attacking the person, and offer suggestions for improvement.
- Note your gestures: Gestures are also very important during Communication. Facial expressions, eye contact, body posture, or movement of your body define a lot about the attentiveness and seriousness of a person during Communication. One should take care of their gestures while Communication and always seem welcoming to listen and understand the thoughts and ideas of the other person rather than look offensive due to their gestures.
- Put away distractions: While communicating, in order to be more focused, all distractions should be avoided. Distractions may vary for different people. For some of them, it can be any gesture or sign, and for others, it can be any person, also. So, to make Communication effective, it should be taken care to put away all the distractions, and the major focus should be on clear and efficient Communication.
- Be mindful of timing: Timing should be taken care of while communicating. Always respect others’ timings. Keep the message concise, clear, and short so that it is easy and less time-consuming to be understood by others. During open discussions also, keep the ideas and messages short and crisp so that they are interesting and easily understandable by the audience.
- Practice self-awareness: One should be self-motivated and confident to practice self-awareness while communicating. A demotivated or less confident person can never be efficient and effective while conveying his thoughts and ideas to others.
- Speak up about your thoughts and ideas: Communication is a two-way process where one person conveys or delivers the ideas while the other listens or receives the same. If in case, the idea or message is not completely clear or understood by the receiver, it should be openly discussed. One should speak up about their thought or opinion on the given message so as to understand it widely or to add to it.
- Plan and practice what you’ll say: To make Communication skills effective, it is important to always plan and practice what you are about to say or present in front of others. It is better to make mistakes like fumbling or forgetting some key points etc., solely than to do in front of some other person while communicating. Planning and practicing the deliverance of ideas makes Communication much more effective and efficient.
It can be said that Communication skills is a process of exchanging ideas between people. At the workplace, it is one of the essential skills needed to facilitate better teamwork, coordination, and cumulative achievement of the company goals. However, it should never be forgotten to be active in participating, being at both ends, sender as well as receiver. Communication done efficiently builds stronger teams and better teamwork.
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