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4 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

By Michael Heller Employee Engagement, Performance Management

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Many employers are in survival mode with the world’s recent and ever-changing job market. Every day new technologies and studies emerge, enlightening us on current processes to keep the workforce happy and engaged; unfortunately, this isn’t working. One thing that can be changed with little-to-no-risk, however, is how members of an organization communicate.

Did you know communication is the root of some of the most important reasons people are dissatisfied with their job? In fact, a 2014 poll conducted by About.com revealed that 64% of dissatisfied workers cite communication failures as the reason for their unhappiness at work. So, how can the members of an organization, whether in leadership roles or as a team member, improve their team communication skills? For insights from professionals themselves, these tips were taken from Quora.

Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: How can you improve your communication skills?

Practice Makes Perfect

“From personal experience, I used to be a guy that just did and said what he wanted, without really understanding other people’s expressions/reactions…I would say start with the basics. Look up online the common facial expressions that associate with being happy, sad, angry, etc. You’d be surprised that even though this is an obvious thing to understand, people still don’t. So, give yourself a foundation on facial expressions…Secondly, TALK to people. Even if it’s uncomfortable…one thing to do is try to offer personal experience…For me, when I share my personal experience, it gives off the idea that ‘Ok, talking to this person is actually significant, because he’s had a similar situation.’ ‘Practice makes perfect.’ This is the best way of gaining your skills…”

Ankit Jain is an electrical engineer currently pursuing his Master’s at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  

Make it Memorable

“Make it easy for people to remember what you tell them…Give people lists, and make your ideas more ‘portable’ with good labels for them. Categories help us make sense of the world around us.

  • Wherever possible, draw pictures. When you give someone a diagram, you also demonstrate that you thoroughly understand something.
  • Minimize Text Fatigue with Numbered Lists. Make it easy for people to get what they need out of your communications, by breaking out big topics into smaller topics and sub-topics until they’re easily explainable.
  • Give your ideas a ‘handle’ to make them easy to remember. Great labels make big ideas portable and easy for people to discuss. The more distinctive the phrase you coin, the more you become associated with the idea.”

 Christian Bonilla is founding editor of Smart Like How, a career advice blog for first-time professionals.  

Evaluate Your Delivery

“Try talking to yourself in the mirror. It might feel strange in the beginning but it’s a great way to improve your communication skills and confidence…Also, read out passages from books or newspapers aloud, try to record your voice on your phone or your iPod/mp3 player while you’re at it, listen to it sometime later, you’ll know instantly, where you need improvement….Write as much as you can…just start writing for yourself, you’ll know how to construct words quickly and thus speak well too. Writing acts as a precursor to learning and communicating better.

Ajinkya Soitkar is a technical trainer at Vinsys IT Services in Pune Area, India.  

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Study Other Communicators

“Stop seeing movies, TV, anything else just for the sake of entertainment. Observe and closely listen to the dialogues and the script. Use it as a learning tool to improve your communication skills. Understand it, research it, implement it in your talk.”

Altamesh Jiwani is a Senior Software Quality Assurance Engineer for PubMatic.  

Try different methods to improve your communication, like these: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

There are a hundred ways managers and teams can improve their team communication skills, but they can all be easily achieved with some help from the same kinds of professionals who have been there and done that.

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Make your points easy to remember
  • Evaluate your communication style regularly
  • Watch others for communication tips

Achieve better communication with the help of pros who have mastered it, like this: @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet Communicating effectively is easier said than done, but with some self-awareness and practice, organizations can start improving communication across the board. Make communication and

Communicating effectively is easier said than done, but with some self-awareness and practice, organizations can start improving communication across the board. Make communication and performance feedback easy with iRevü’s easy-to-use and inexpensive real-time feedback platform!

Michael Heller

Posted By Michael Heller

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