Excellent communication skills are important in any workplace. They are so important, in fact, that many employers specifically list them as a requirement on their job descriptions. But soft skills like communication are not static, they can change over time.
Those that want to excel in their careers are open to improving communication skills both personally and professionally.
Five Tips For Improving Communication Skills:
1. Identify Your Flaws
You have to know what you struggle with most in order to know what to fix. This involves a lot of self-reflection. It takes time to really think about your worst qualities as a communicator. Do you talk too much? Are you too shy? Do you sometimes stumble over your words? Unless you can identify your challenges, fixing them will be difficult.
2. Integrate Better Communication Into Every Aspect of Your Life
Let’s say you are bad at written communication. If you get used to using chat speak, poor grammar and spelling on social media, it’s hard to turn off that mindset professionally. If you want to learn to write better, you have to use the skill in every aspect of your life. The same is true for all communication skills. Learn how to use them everywhere, not just when convenient.
3. Meet More People and Have More Experiences
Learning to communicate with different people is critical. That’s because part of communication is knowing exactly how to adapt to other people’s personalities. The more experience you have with different types of people, the easier it is to adapt.
4. Active Listening
It’s not always what you say, but how you listen that makes you a good communicator. Most people start thinking of a response before they’ve listened to what the other person is saying. You can be a better communicator by listening (because you better address what they’re saying). You also learn how others communicate, and can adapt some of their skills.
5. Listen/Watch Yourself
Someday, ask a friend to record you in a few conversations. Listen to yourself talk, watch your body language, and get to know who you are as a conversant. That will show you if you’re showing poor body language, or if you don’t talk loud enough, if you’re too loud, etc.
Above all else, you’ll want to practice. Practice is critical to success when it comes to improving your communication. Only by actively practicing communication can you hope to be a better talker and writer.