5 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Five colleagues gather around a table to communicate on a business project.Good communication is among the most crucial business skills. Employers value employees who can communicate effectively by listening to others and successfully conveying their ideas and opinions. While listening and speaking are important in effective communication, other skills are essential to good communication in the workplace.

5 Effective Communication Skills

1.) Know Your Audience

A critical skill is understanding your audience. Good communication entails knowing what you want to say and to whom you are saying it. Your style and means of communication, the level of detail required to get your message across, and the reasons behind the message can make or break its potency.

Adapting your message to your audience increases engagement, trust, and impact.

2.) Empathy

Empathy is central to good communication. Empathy involves seeing things from the point of view of others. Put yourself in the other person’s position and not be judgmental or biased by your beliefs. Empathy can help keep you in tune with your emotions and ideas.

3.) Being Positive

Encouraging others will heighten morale and appreciation in the workplace. By praising and offering encouragement, you help others feel they are wanted, welcomed, and respected by co-workers. People are much more likely to put forth their best effort if they know they are valued.

4.) Awareness

Being aware of others and their emotions mean being sympathetic to misfortunes and praising positive milestones. To achieve this successfully, you need to know what is happening in other people’s lives. Getting to know co-workers on a first-name basis and holding meaningful conversations throughout the workweek creates a better and more productive work environment.

5.) Body language

Body language significantly influences how others understand you and your message. Maintaining an open, friendly persona lets co-workers know you are amenable to hearing their ideas and opinions about projects or new designs.

Body language displays empathy and encouragement. Be sure to maintain eye contact when speaking, and using hand gestures can help inform clearer thoughts. Smiling is incredibly dynamic and creates a noticeable difference in perception. People who smile more are considered more approachable and trustworthy.

While many of these good communication skills occur naturally in individuals, some may need to be learned and practiced thus becoming second nature. Professionals who earn a Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution, an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, or a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work can directly apply these good communication skills in the workplace and become highly desired by their employers.