No business or workplace will ever exist and grow without communication, communication is the pillar of every workplace, this is the reason knowing ‘How to improve communication skills?’ is mandatory for bringing growth in a workplace.
I am a former project manager of an organization called ‘Compassion’ which has a global presence over more than 25 countries, as I have been a part of that great organization, I have learnt many great lessons in improving communication skills. At present me and my wife both are high school teachers for over 9 years, so I hope my experience will be a valuable resource to you in improving communication skills.
When we read history we find that people improved their communication with each other by developing languages, written scripts and nonverbal ways.
At present days, we use verities of modern technical stuff for the purpose of communication, but whatever stuff we use, if we do not know how to communicate well then it will create a great chaos in our workplace and even in our social life with our friends and family.
So, improving communication skills is the key to success in job and society.
Here is how you can improve communication skills by assessing yourself, collecting feedback from others, welcoming criticism as stepping stone, strengthening verbal and nonverbal communication, preparing well, understanding clearly before communicating, analyzing before response, previewing possible result, understanding the audience and the workplace well, managing emotions, becoming a problem solver, respecting and treating people equally, carrying positive attitude and smile on face, managing time well, making the audience engaged and having a spirit of continuous learning.
18 Best ways to improve communication skills in the workplace
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Assess yourself to find your issues with communication skill
- Ask others about your weaknesses in communication skill to gather honest feedback
- Love criticisms and make them stepping stone to improve your communication skills
- Strengthen your verbal communication skills
- Improve your non-verbal communication skills
- Be a good listener by developing listening skill
- Don’t speak anything without understanding well
- Prepare well before you communicate and find the purpose and importance
- Take time and analyze before you response
- Preview the possible response before you communicate
- Understand your audience and work environment
- Learn to manage your emotional states
- Always carry a problem solving attitude
- Respect and treat people equally
- Always display positive attitude and smile on your face
- Learn to manage your time wisely and punctually
- Engage your audience
- Be a good learner
1. Assess yourself to find your issues with communication skill
Almost every improvement starts with detecting the issues that are hindering growth or the possible areas to work upon for the sake of improvement. Then once you detect the issues, now is the time to work upon them to produce better results.
In the same manner in order to improve your communication skills, the first step you need to take is to sit down and assess your present state in the communication skills.
This assessment will help you to detect the issues holding you back or possibilities to improve in your communication skills.
In process of assessment, ask these questions to yourself and try to answer them:
- How well are your verbal communication skills, like speaking, writing and listening?
- Do you need any improvement in your nonverbal communication skills, like facial expression, eye contact, posture, gesture etc.
- Do people often criticize you for your poor communication skill, if yes in which areas?
- Do you prepare well before the communication?
- How do you manage your time, responsibilities, emotional feeling, attitude towards challenges or problems?
- How do you behave with people?
- Do you carry a spirit of learning and accepting your mistakes?
2. Ask others about your weaknesses in communication skill to gather honest feedback
One of the biggest weaknesses of most people is that we don’t find our weaknesses easily, we try to hide our weakness by presenting some sort of excuses.
But this does not work for improving communication skills.
If you are serious about improving your communication skill, then you must find out your weaknesses first.
In order to find out your weaknesses in communication skills, you need to gather honest feedback about your current state communication skills. So, you can take help from your friends and family or colleagues to give you honest feedback about your communication skills, and the areas you need to develop.
3. Love criticisms and make them stepping stone to improve your communication skills
Most people hate criticism, but many times the success takes birth from it.
Hating criticism will never help you to improve your communication skill, rather will make you frustrated and disturbed.
The best way to handle the criticism is to welcome it with love and convert it to a stepping stone for improving your communication skills.
Understand the reason for criticism, and fix the problem and you will find that you are moving towards improvement in your communication skill.
4. Strengthen your verbal communication skills
Verbal communication is like a backbone in your communication skill, so, continuously work on strengthening your verbal communication skills, as a result you will strengthen your communication skills in your workplace.
Verbal communication skills consist of the followings:
- Being fluent and comfortable with Face to face talk with other people.
- Talking over the telephone or other digital mediums.
- Having video communication through Skype or Zoom softwares.
- Talking with your friends, family or the colleagues in the workplace.
Some good practices to follow to improve verbal communication skill are:
- Go through a well preparation process before you make a verbal communication in your workplace or professional area.
- Good internet connection is mandatory for better communication while you are making verbal communication over the internet.
- Make sure your words and pronunciation is clear to understand.
- Use appropriate words with the right tone for maintaining professional standards.
5. Improve your non-verbal communication skills
Nonverbal communication plays a very important role in the whole process of communication. How successful your communication will be greatly depends on your nonverbal communication skills.
Here is the list of types of nonverbal communication to improve, in order to improve your communication skills:
- Consider your Facial Expressions
- Focus on Eye contact
- Be careful of your Gestures or Kinesics or body movements
- Develop good Posture
- Give attention on Paralinguistic or tone of voice, pitch and loudness
- Maintain Proxemics or closeness or personal space
- Be wise in Haptics or touch
- Your Appearance is matter
- Artifacts display who you are
- Be punctual and strict in Time managing
Consider this list of examples of nonverbal communication:
- Shaking hands or legs during the conversation or communication is irritative, so never do it
- Maintain your eye contact during communication
- Make sure your eyes are shifted to everyone you are communicating to
- Smiling and cheerful face is liked by everyone
- Be serious when the matter is serious
- Do not touch your face, nose, eyes or hair while communicating
- Do not interrupt others, it convey negative signal
- Make head movement to show your interest when listening
- Looking around several times gives the signal of inattentiveness
- Maintaining calm and relaxed mind in pressure shows your better professionalism
6. Be a good listener by developing listening skill
You may love to present your great ideas, thoughts and profound knowledge before others but listening patiently is also a great means of communication. As you want others to listen to you attentively, in the same manner you should listen to others with undivided attention.
Not listening properly with patience may create a lot of several issues in your communication. So, if you are willing to improve communication skills then you must be a good listener.
You can consider the guides given below to develop your listening skills:
- Face towards the person while listening
- Make eye contact with the speaker
- Give your attention during listening
- Try to convert the words into the picture in your mind
- Avoid interrupting unless really necessary
- Don’t try to present your words while listening
- Give feedback to the speaker
- Present best nonverbal communications
7. Don’t speak anything without understanding well
It is always a wise decision to prevent talking before understanding well. Hurry to talk without understanding the facts properly, will only establish poor communication.
In order to improve communication skills, you must learn to hold your tongue unless you understand the matter well.
8. Prepare well before you communicate and find the purpose and importance
Preparation always produces better results. It is the same in communication, if you prepare well before your communication, you will find that it will help you to communicate in a much more productive manner.
Always make sure you know the exact purpose of your communication and how important this is, if you are speaking or presenting some precious data,then be sure that your communication will fulfil the purpose of your communication.
9. Take time and analyze before you response
When you want to give a response to someone’s words or writing, then do not hurry, rather take time and analyze your words or writing, how appropriate they are.
Here are some guidelines to follow before giving response:
- Do not hurry in responding, a wrong response can create poor communication
- Analyze your words or writing to check the need and importance
- Make sure your response is appropriate
10. Preview the possible response before you communicate
Try to preview the possible response in your mind before you communicate with others.
It is a great and smart decision that you preview the result before it actually happens. So that you can prevent the poor communication and improve your communication.
11. Understand your audience and work environment
The communication strategy may differ according to the audience and work environment. Understanding the mindset, gender group and age group along with culture in the workplace will greatly help you to improve your communication skill.
Remember the culture and predominant social concepts may differ in workplaces. Having a clear understanding about the people mindset and culture will boost your communication skills.
Here are the point for your to consider to understand your audience and workplace:
- Know the age group of people
- Learn about the gender group
- Gather understanding about the people’s mindset
- Understand the predominant culture in the workplace or society
12. Learn to manage your emotional states
Your emotion can help you to add improvement or deterioration in your communication skills.
Learn to control your emotions, know that you must master your emotion for better communication but if your emotions master you then it will create damage in your communication.
Follow the rules below for better management of emotion:
- Identify what your emotional feeling
- Let not your emotional feeling result negative effect on communication, because feeling changes
- Learn to master your emotions
- Know how to express your emotion wisely
- Don’t react while you are too emotional
13. Always carry a problem solving attitude
How many times you thought that why you face many problems, but the reality is that problem is faced by everyone. Your approach towards a problem can either solve the problem or create another problem.
So, make sure you carry a problem solving attitude.
14. Respect and treat people equally
How you treat people says many things about you. Respecting everyone and treating everyone equally helps you to communicate well to everyone.
Remember as you want to be respected in the same manner others also want to be respected.
Disrespect or unequal behavior makes people separated from you, as a result creates poor communication.
15. Always display positive attitude and smile on your face
A positive mind displays a positive attitude and a positive attitude produces positive communication.
People like to see happy faces, just as you like to see others with happy faces rather than frown faces.
Positive attitude with a happy face has a tremendous capability in improving communication skills.
16. Learn to manage your time wisely and punctually
Imagine someone appointed a time to meet with you and became too late, how do you feel, most probably your entire communication became disturbed due to this poor management of time.
In the same manner, your mismanage of time and punctuality can cause severe damage to your communication. Time is considered as money, so managing time is managing money.
Managing time wisely will definitely improve your communication skills.
17. Engage your audience
Remember that productive communication requires interaction and engagement. Remember your school day, how refreshed you were when you were engaged in an activity.
Even in professional world engagement creates refreshment, encouragement and as a result better communication.
Understating the people’s attention span and engaging them accordingly can create a powerful communication.
18. Be a good learner
It is said that a good learner is a good earner. Earning a better skill in communication demands a spirit of continuous learning.
We can never learn everything, there is always something better to learn and the more we learn better we become in our communication.
So, to improve communication skills you must be a good learner, learn from your mistakes, failures and also from other’s criticism, and you will surely improve your communication skills.
Let me know your suggestion in the comment section below for adding more life to this article for growing together and helping other to grow.