One of the most important skills you can develop for your professional career is strong communication skills. This is critical for anyone who wants to advance in his or her career, take on a leadership role, or start a business. Effective communication is good for business, no matter what it is you want to do or what type of job you have.
To start improving how you communicate, start with how you listen. Communicating well is less about what you say and more about how you interact with others. Listen first, then speak. Don’t go into a conversation to simply have your say. When someone else is speaking, make sure you’re really connecting with what the other person is saying.
When you need to communicate something important, choose your time and location carefully. Choose a location that is comfortable and quiet enough where everyone can truly hear each other. If the subject matter is sensitive, make sure you’re having your conversation in private. Simply considering the comfort level of the other party and considering the environment can greatly improve communication.
Conversations can be emotional, even in professional settings. It’s crucial that you remain with your professional sensibilities intact, even in the midst of a difficult conversation with another person. Remain respectful, and be mindful of how your words can affect the other person – and you – well into the future. Try to avoid statements that could be misconstrued and potentially come back to haunt you.
When speaking, say what you mean. Don’t mislead, but don’t be rude, either. It’s important to learn how to walk the line between being hurtful and never saying what needs to be said. Communication skills are important, and you can start the process of improving in this area simply by being mindful of others and how well you listen.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC