When it comes to communication skills, there is always room for improvement. Here at FH, we believe that better communication means better business — and the best way to start is with employees who communicate well. Want to communicate better at work? Try these tips to brush up on your skills.
Sometimes communication isn’t about what you say. Lindsay Olson says, “It’s impossible to understand what someone needs or wants if we don’t give them our undivided attention.” Instead of interrupting or thinking about your response, simply listen to the other person.
Karen Friedman, author of Shut Up And Say Something: Business Communication Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Influence Listeners, shares her number one rule: “It is absolutely critical to be as direct, to the point and concise as possible.” Convey exactly what you mean and what you need instead of being vague with your colleagues.
CONSIDER COMMUNICATION PREFERENCE
We’ve all known — or been — that person who responds to an email with a phone call, or vice versa. Notice how your colleagues and contacts prefer to communicate: do they respond better to emails, Google chats or conversations in person over coffee? Take a step outside of your comfort zone and do what works best for them instead of you.
SHARE INFO WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS
Did you create a great spreadsheet, read a great article, or find a workflow that works particularly well with a tough client? Share the info with your co-workers — not only will you be recognized as an informed employee, but your colleagues may be more inclined to share the same insights with you.
TAKE ADVICE FROM A BUNNY
In the classic Disney film Bambi, Thumper the rabbit recites this advice from his father:
“If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
Friedman talks about this in her book, as well: “Don’t talk about other people. That identifies you as a gossip and someone who can’t be trusted.” Remember, the three C’s of trust are Connection, Competence, and Character — don’t damage your reputation as a trusted employee by ignoring character.
Do you have tips that you’ve found help you communicate better or a beloved cartoon character whose advice you follow? Let us know in the comments!