Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings on priorities, work deadlines, and a whole host of other problems.
In a world of instant communication, many look for ways to connect with each other on a more personal level, and whilst the pandemic/lockdown has been managed with digital communication, there is a risk that some in-person skills could fall to the wayside. This is bad for all of us; poor communication can lead to misunderstandings on priorities, work deadlines, and a whole host of other problems.
In today’s blog, we have a look at some of the ways that you can improve your communication, both within and outside the workplace.
Give 100% of your attention when in a conversation
It is often tempting in a world of video-conferencing to reach for the email inbox when on a virtual meeting. Whilst this may seem like a productivity hack, the potential for misunderstandings could be more costly in the long run. Try and engage in active listening, this means considering what the other person is saying, making good eye contact, and where suitable repeating back what has been said.
These tips will not only increase the quality of your communication, it will also make it easier to build rapport with new clients.
Develop good conversational skills
As humans we are often drawn into the habit of using the same phrases in different conversations; ‘how are you?’ ‘how was your weekend?’. Whilst these can be good springboards, rephrasing them into more personal and less common phrases is a great way to increase the engagement of the conversation early on. Again, this is also a great way to build rapport.
Engage in questions with the other person
It is often easy to fall into the trap of passive listening, and one of the ways that you can avoid this is by asking questions of the other person. If they have explained or stated a concept that you are unfamiliar with, ask them about it. This will not only give them a chance to explain a potential area of expertise (which many will be happy to) it also shows that you are truly engaged in the conversation.
Prepare for the conversation, but don’t be rigid
Failing to prepare for anything important can be a problem, and not preparing for an important meeting can lead to you being caught out. Avoid this by doing the necessary prep work for any important communications. This could involve an agenda, but don’t be too strict with it. It is important to let conversations flow smoothly to allow for different topics to be discussed by all those involved. Good conversations are often one of the best ways to build good relationships between team members.
Make sure you are constantly trying to improve your communication
The 4 tips listed above are good starting points for developing good communication, but they are not a definitive list. Always be open to new ideas and ways of thinking, this will help you discover new ways of improving your communication and growing both within and outside of work.