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Better Communications At Work: 11 Essential Skills

  • 1. Listen Better

    Listening is not the same as hearing.

    Hearing is involuntary and happens whether you want it or not.

    Listening means being completely focused and immersed in the moment.

    Better communication starts with you understanding others better.

  • 2. Understand body language

    Learn to understand the body language of others to read in between the lines, which can be more indicative than words in many cases.

    Understanding the emotional state of others is a great tool to improve your communications with them and for adjusting your responses based on the situation.

  • 3. Documentation

    While verbal communication is important to speed things up and exchange ideas in a timely manner, writing information down and sharing it with others is equally important.

    Documentation ensures that everyone is on the same page and acts as a point of reference in dispute cases.
  • 4. Use diagrams, charts, and numbers

    People love charts and diagrams.

    Use them in emails, presentations, meetings, etc; whenever you can.

  • 5. Tell stories and give examples

    The best way to deliver a message is through a story or a concrete example.

    People remember and relate to ideas when they are formed as stories.

    Use this tactic when you struggle to reach common ground with others.

  • 6. Ask Questions

    Don't be afraid to ask especially when ideas are not 100% clear.

    Asking questions shows that you are interested and focused.

  • 7. Assert information

    Paraphrase (repeat what you think you understood) at key moments to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

    Ask others to paraphrase your ideas to see they understood your points as well.

    Don't overdo it, you don't want to sound like a parrot.

  • 8. Choose the best format

    Some things are best said in emails, some on the phone, some face-to-face, and some by being silent.

    Yes, even silence is a communication medium.

    Decide on the best medium to deliver your messages based on the context and the situation.

  • 9. Make eye contact in conversations

    When you are talking to someone, make sure to keep some level of eye contact but don't stare.

    Eye contact ensures that both parties are focused and listening to each other

  • 10. Write Better Emails

    Email is still the dominant communication method in the workplace.

    Your ability to write perfect emails can be decisive to your professional growth and to your organization.

  • 11. Improve Your Writing Skills

    We said earlier that writing is very important to improve communication.

    Equally important is the ability to phrase your words and sentences clearly, consisely, and without ambiguity.

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