** This article was last updated in June 2020**
Good communication skills in the workplace
Whether you’re sitting in a meeting, attending a job interview, or emailing a client, having good communication skills is essential. It can mean the difference between getting your view across and being misunderstood, getting the dream job or missing out and building strong and positive working relationships rather than facing conflict and barriers.
In this article, we take a closer look at the different methods of professional communication and explain why it’s so important to understand and master how you communicate in the workplace.
Types of professional communication to master
With the way we do business changing, and working from home becoming a viable option for many, forms of communication have also changed.
The ways that we communicate with our colleagues, business partners and clients have steadily shifted. You no longer have to be in the same office (or even the same country) to be able to do business, and the popularity of such communication apps as Skype and Zoom have made this easier than ever before.
The different types of communication methods can be grouped together into three key categories:
- Oral Communication : This is also often called “verbal” or “spoken” communication and includes face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, as well as mediums such as radio and TV.
- Written Communication: Within written communication, there are a huge number of methods, from sending emails and writing letters, to books, magazines, social media posts and various other forms thanks to the growth of the Internet.
- Non-verbal communication: When thinking about communication, it’s important not to forget about things that we don’t say, as it can still tell someone a lot about you. This could include your body language and gestures, your tone of voice and even how you dress.
The importance of mastering Professional Communication
Some of the best communicators of all time include people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs. Their messages have inspired people and changed the world. By thinking about what they achieved you can start to understand the importance of good communication and the huge impact it can have on those around you, if you get it right.
Here are a few reasons why having good professional communication skills can be important to you, in the workplace:
- It can ensure you pick the right communication method for your audience
With good professional communication skills, you can ensure you pick the appropriate communication channel for the specific audience. For example, in some cases, it may be appropriate to send a quick email, however, by reading the situation you may realise that for certain messages, it’s more appropriate to arrange a call or even meet face-to-face.
- It is seen as a desirable skill by employers
Being able to communicate effectively is an extremely desirable skill. This can be beneficial in your existing role, when being considered for a promotion or when job hunting.
- It can help avoid misunderstandings
With poor communication, it’s easy for messages to get misunderstood. By mastering professional communication, the potential for misunderstandings occurring can be minimised.
- It will help you work effectively in a group
When you work in a team, you need to be able to regularly communicate with others. You need to listen to other people’s ideas, whilst being able to clearly and effectively communicate your own. Good communication can also help to build a positive working relationship, so your team works more effectively and productively together.
- It can inspire others
We’re not all born presenters, but public speaking is still an important skill to master. With poor communication skills, your audience may become bored and disengaged. However, if you have good communication skills, you have the opportunity to engage and inspire those around you.
How to develop your Professional Communication skills?
When it comes to developing your professional communication skills, there are several things you can try.
- Ask for feedback : If you carry out a presentation, ask yourself how you think you could improve next time. If you’re looking for a more objective point of view, ask for feedback from those who were in the audience. Take this feedback onboard and use it to make changes when you present next time.
- Learn from others : If you look up to someone who has good communication skills, watch what they do and learn from them. This doesn’t have to be someone famous but could be a leader or mentor in your office.
- Work on your active listening : A good communicator listens. So next time you’re engaged in a conversation, instead of trying to drive your opinion home, take a step back and actively listen to what is being said. Don’t just listen to the words but consider their body language too and tone of voice. You may pick up on signs that you may previously have missed.
- Study a professional communication course : To really become a better communicator, you should consider enrolling in a course that can refresh your skills and develop new ones.
How Open Colleges can help you..
At Open Colleges, we have a new Professional Communications short course which is ideal for people looking to develop their communication skills
Whether you’ve just left school, are entering the workforce for the first time, or are in the early stages of your career, this course will provide you with the communication essentials you need in a business, office or professional environment.
The course is estimated to take approximately 20 hours, but you can work at your own pace. During that time, you can expect to learn how to communicate verbally and professionally, interpret body language, communicate positively and manage emotions, actively listen, use formal and informal language, and get your written message across in the right way.
Getting your professional communication right can be difficult, but once you’ve mastered this skill, you can become a much stronger and more confident communicator in the workplace. This is fundamental to your career success.
Get started by enrolling in Open Colleges’ Professional Communications Short Course today.