9 Useful Communication Skills For Professional Life

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When running a technology business, it’s necessary to be professional with both employees and suppliers. Communication skills are key to coming across clearly and effectively to convey what’s needed with the right tone and meaning behind it. Avoiding any misunderstandings through effective communication prevents the company from losing important business relationships at crucial moments all due to an unresolved miscommunication.

To get a better handle on the types of communication skills that are so valuable when running a business and between the people working inside it, here are nine useful communication skills worth learning or perfecting. 

1. Listen More and Talk Less

One of the most common mistakes when talking with other people is not listening to what they’re speaking about. When simply waiting for them to finish speaking (and mostly ignoring and automatically discounting their observations) to get to what you wish to say, too much is lost. 

Indeed, talking too much and not listening creates a close-minded approach where you’re not open to the ideas of other people. This can quickly lead to losing business perspective. If you’re having problems in this area, it might be a good idea to take some communication skills training. The short training programs listed on findcourses.com should be beneficial to address any shortfall there. They list communication courses from top providers online and in a classroom setting, all across the country. 

2. Adjust for Your Audience

When speaking to people, it’s important to judge your audience and what they’re capable of perceiving. This means not talking over them or down to them because your intelligence or knowledge on a relevant subject may be superior to their own. 

Get an understanding of whom you’ll be speaking to. Whether it’s one person (which is easier) or a group of people (more difficult), any discussion, speech or announcement must convey information in an easily digestible manner. Changing wording to make it understandable by all, rather than just people who are well educated, is useful too. Check any planned speech against the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level or Flesch Reading Ease tests to see how it scores for being easily understood.

3. Don’t Forget About Emotional Intelligence

Not everyone is logical and structured in their thinking. Many people are creative thinkers and look at the different sides to every topic raised. While from a strategic goals’ perspective, moving towards their attainment and eventually hitting certain targets is important for the business, it must be communicated in a way that doesn’t discount the emotional side. 

While a leader should speak forthrightly and with clarity, this shouldn’t ignore the emotionality of a given situation. For instance, a company decision that impacts some employees negatively will cause some distress to them. Learning to show controlled emotion in order to not appear to be ignoring their feelings on the issue is important. Otherwise, there’s a risk that employees will feel that the managers don’t care about them. 

4. Encourage Feedback

Even when you’re leading the company, there’s a need to encourage feedback from staff. Also, strategic partners and other business relationships often work better when the other side feels that you’re receptive to their input or feedback even if you’re taking the leadership role.

Whist having an open-door policy can be distracting to getting projects completed in a timely manner, a way must be found to solicit or be seen to welcome feedback. Many new insights are attained at the most unusual times by doing so; its usefulness shouldn’t be discounted. 

5. Master Teamworking

Working as a team is vital if you want to get the organization operating at top efficiency. Essentially, any business is a collection of small teams (or departments) all producing the work required. As a group, they comprise the whole company operating as a well-oiled machine, hopefully.

Clear communication about goals, projects, and individual tasks is required to lead a team. Any lack of clarity over what’s required will lead to a breakdown and deadlines being missed. 

6. Convey Confidence

People find confidence attractive. Care must be taken for it to not lead to a certain level of arrogance in the eye of the receiver. This is achieved by not becoming too outspoken and being receptive to the feedback of others. 

Show confidence in your thoughts, ideas or instructions given out. You can lend this perspective to other people too. Displaying confidence is likely to lead to being taken more seriously. If they respect your opinion and planning, then anything provided by you is going to feel like it comes with a kind of quality assurance. 

7. Show Respect to Others Through Active Listening

Showing respect to others is a key trait within a business. It is certainly a concern to other junior managers and their staff when the boss doesn’t seem to have respect for them. Therefore, it’s important to do so to avoid a negative impression which could affect their morale. 

Use active listening to show that you’re paying attention. This means following what they are saying, nodding your head to points you agree to, and being vocal as well. Saying, “Uh-huh” or “Sure” or “go on…” all convey that you’re listening intently to them and they have your full attention. In this smartphone/social media distracted world we live in today, having someone’s attention is meaningful, especially in a business environment. 

8. Use Communication to Problem Solve

It’s sometimes beneficial to let employees problem solve live in front of you when they’re stuck. Rather than simply providing the answer to their question, talk it over to see how they can help themselves. 

You can ask them to explain the issue. Then turn it around and ask what they’ve considered to solve the problem? What other things could they try? If they say they don’t know, ask them “But if you believed you could figure it out, what would you try next?”

Give them the confidence to work through issues. Give them pointers to generate new ideas and see what they can come up with. By using this approach, staff learn to solve problems themselves by brainstorming all the different ways they can do something. This beats them just saying, “I’m stuck” and trying to place the responsibility for solving it on another individual. 

9. Be Selectively Assertive

It’s necessary to learn how to be selectively assertive to avoid hurting people’s feelings. In a business meeting with suppliers or your peers, being careful about when to be assertive and times to let the group foster ideas for consideration, is important. Avoiding ruffled feathers is better now than fixing hurt feelings later.

Pick and choose when assertiveness is necessary. Avoid doing so unless it’s the right time. Judging when is the right time is a learned skill and speaking assertively without upsetting anyone is too. Reading the people or person you are with and choosing language that will be more readily accepted by the group or that individual is also useful.

Learning the ‘soft skill’ of communicating better is something that can be studied in the classroom but also must be practiced too. When focusing on improving the many facets that make up good communication, it’s possible to become a far more effective communicator in a business setting. This can also be useful outside of the work environment too.