Sometimes we think that communication skills are one of those natural abilities that some have and some just don’t. But that isn’t necessarily the case. While they seem to come more easily to some than others, these are skills that can be practiced and made better in everyone. A reporter’s first interview is always going to go less smoothly than her thousandth. Great public speakers aren’t always the most outgoing. They are, however, very practiced.
Employers notice soft skills like communication even when they don’t know it. There is something about a good communicator that is attractive to employers. They are valued between coworkers, clients, visitors and any other party.
We’ve put together some communication tips to keep in mind that can help you in the workplace from your first interview and well into your career.
1. Over-communication is better than under-communication.
When you aren’t sure if someone is clued in on a new piece of information, assume they haven’t been. People would rather be told about something important twice than never told at all.
2. Empathy matters.
Employers value emotional intelligence and social skills, even if they don’t want to come right out and say it
3. Short and sweet is a virtue.
Long-winded questions and comments are not always the best ones. The ability to keep comments concise and to the point is a very admirable and attractive skill.
4. Mind your manners.
Say please and say thank you. Go the extra mile to do it. Drop a note. Send an email.
5. Non-verbal is vulnerable.
Make sure you have a grip on what your body language is saying. You may not go so far to roll your eyes or check your watch obsessively, but nervousness can show. Take deep breaths and pay attention to what you are doing with your body — your posture, what you’re doing with your hands. And don’t forget to smile!
Communication skills can be made better with practice, education and awareness. The William Woods University Online Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts serves to hone these skills through various methods and tools, and serve as great stepping stones for any of your academic or career goals.