Communication skills should not be underestimated, as they are one of the most important skills that can determine your success at work and in life. In some situations, good communication skills are the determining factor. The most successful organizations understand that in today’s business world, good communication is essential at all levels. Without communication skills, it is impossible to work as part of a team, help customers, or do business, because even in the B2B field, business is still done by people – you cannot achieve success without communication skills.
It’s never too early or too late to develop communication skills – it’s an essential skill regardless of your role. When it comes to leadership and teamwork, communication skills are certainly crucial to achieving your goals and results.
Good communication consists of many factors – the ability to express yourself and understand the people around you, persuade others to achieve their goals, and control your emotions in order to work together effectively.
WHY ARE GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR JOB?
- Good communication skills increase work productivity
Effective communication between employees and managers helps managers better understand employees’ needs and expectations. This, in turn, enables managers to increase employee motivation and thus maintain or raise productivity.
Good communication skills are also important for problem solving – they help solve problems before they get out of hand. Anticipating problems and solving them quickly will help ensure a smooth work rhythm and thus supports productivity.
From a manager’s point of view, good communication skills are also important to clearly tell employees what their tasks are and what is expected of them. The more clearly tasks are set and delegated to employees, the less misunderstandings and mistakes occur. A study conducted by Gartner was based on a US company and found that 70% of business mistakes are due to inadequate communication. These statistics prove that communication at work is crucial for avoiding mistakes.
- Enhances cooperation and teamwork
Good communication skills increase the effectiveness of teamwork and thus have a positive impact on the productivity of the whole company. The secret to building an effective team lies in the communication, accountability, and cooperation between team members. By implementing effective strategies to promote communication, it is possible to build a highly successful team. When teams fail to communicate effectively, the results are detrimental to the business.
It is also important to learn how to listen to, empathize with, and understand other team members. Being able to communicate effectively with colleagues helps build trust within a team, strengthens professional relationships, reinforces teamwork, develops a sense of belonging, and helps be more productive. In addition, open communication encourages open dialogue, allows sharing of different perspectives and ideas, and encourages innovation.
Based on a survey carried out by ClearCompany, 97% of employees believe that lack of unity, understanding, and consideration for each other in a team negatively affect all projects and tasks. Therefore, having good communication skills is essential for helping teamwork run smoothly and preventing conflict.
The communication skills of the leader strongly influence the team members’ commitment to their work and their bond with the rest of the team. For example, managers can use their communication skills to set rules, define employee roles, and encourage employees to make decisions and achieve goals.
- Reduces tension and conflict and prevents stress
Communication difficulties, conflicts, tensions, and quarrels are often the result of people’s own unresolved problems and internal tensions. It is a general truth that those who cannot cope with themselves, also experience difficulties when dealing with others. This only leads to resentment and misunderstandings.
Effective conflict resolution requires calm, non-defensive, and respectful behavior towards others. Controlling one’s own emotions helps communicate opinions reasonably and calmly without getting upset. Two people in the workplace may feel that they are communicating well, but because they have different ways of communicating, they can often understand each other differently. Therefore, working with different personalities requires excellent communication skills to limit any conflicts in the workplace. If you are having conflicts at work, it is important to look beyond the issue at hand and think a little about the other person’s thought process. To get a better understanding of what they are trying to say, you need to consider the other person’s communication pattern.
- Allows you to advance your career
As you move up the career ladder, communication skills – the ability to communicate, actively listen to others, solve problems, communicate work instructions, ask clear questions, be persuasive and assert yourself – become more important. All these skills are essential for managers.
It’s important to practice your communication skills from the start of your career, in order to be ready for promotion opportunities. Today, it’s not just about doing your job well, it’s also about communicating effectively with others and working in a team. There is a growing move back to agile teams, which in turn further emphasizes the importance of communication skills. Good interpersonal skills are essential if you want to prove to your employer that you’re worthy of your new role.
- Promotes business
In most companies, communication skills line the basis for a number of functions, such as customer service, sales, marketing, human resources management, etc. Depending on the sector and the structure of the company, these functions may vary, although there are certainly functions in every company that require very good communication skills.
For example, your employees’ communication skills affect the way your company’s customer service is perceived by the outside world. Are you perceived as a company with excellent service? It will also have an impact on your company’s sales performance. How successful are your salespeople at finding customers, or building new relationships and maintaining long-term relationships with existing customers? All of this is directly influenced by the communication skills of your salespeople. How well are they able to actively listen to the customer and really understand their needs? How well can they introduce and sell your products and services to the customer?
Attentively listening to your client’s needs and problems allows you to find the best solutions for them. Not only does effective communication help attract new customers, but it also keeps them and turns them into loyal customers. All this directly supports your business. But there are many other functions where good communication skills are essential and either directly or indirectly linked to your company’s business performance.
In addition to the professional benefits mentioned above, communication skills can also improve personal relationships by making you more relatable to other people, helping you understanding your family and friends, and boosting your self-confidence.
To develop good communication skills, you need to be able to express yourself, listen to, understand, and persuade others, and to control your emotions according to the situation.
WHY ARE GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR PRIVATE LIFE?
- Ability to express yourself
Good communication skills are useful in a variety of everyday situations. Self-expression can be the key to happiness, but it can also be difficult if you have not practiced it enough and lack the confidence. Self-expression is essential for communicating your thoughts clearly to others, standing up for something, expressing your feelings, or even for introducing yourself to others. To do this, it is useful to practice public speaking. This way, you will be able to get your ideas across even in stressful situations.
In today’s increasingly online working environment, written communication is also important. Reading and writing more can help improve this. When writing, it is important to make sure that there are no typos and that the content is conveyed in a way that the reader can understand.
It is never too late to develop self-expression skills, but it should be dealt with sooner rather than later.
- Ability to actively listen to others
Listening is a basic communication skill, and although it may seem simple, not everyone is good at it. Good communication is about effective listening, meaning that listening skills are essential for building and maintaining relationships. If you are a good listener, you will attract more people. Listening skills help you understand people’s desires and emotions.
Very often, instead of listening, people start reading minds, preparing answers, daydreaming, advising, or arguing. All these activities prevent you from hearing the real message. It is easy to miss important information because you often focus on what you want to say instead of listening to what the other person is saying.
Active listening draws attention to what the person is saying, as well as to the feelings, ideas, and thoughts that the person is expressing. If you’re not a good listener, it’s hard to understand the other person and what they want – it’s the same at work and in your personal life. To practice active listening and to increase your attentiveness, you can ask clarifying questions during the conversation or rephrase the other person’s idea to make sure that you have understood correctly.
- Ability to understand others
The ability to understand other people is essential in private life. It can help us resolve conflicts, avoid misunderstandings, build long-term healthy relationships, and improve relations with our loved ones. To understand other people, you need to be empathic, that is, you need to be able to understand the other person’s thoughts and feelings.
In addition to this, understanding other people also helps you understand their needs and desires, and the feelings behind them. Being empathic helps you see why the other person feels the way they do – it allows you to build deeper, more connected relationships. People who can understand others actively listen to the other person, read their behavior through their emotions and body language, and understand their views and perceptions.
- Ability to control your emotions
Learning to manage your feelings and thoughts is a vital life skill that can help you in everyday life. It is a skill that helps you make the right decisions and react to difficult situations in a way that resolves them positively and without conflict.
Unexpected and unpleasant situations tend to be accompanied by unpleasant emotions. Emotions cannot be prevented, but we can control how we respond to them.
Emotional coping skills are also important because constant suppression of emotions can lead to both mental and physical problems that can begin to interfere with daily life and relationships.
It is therefore important to be able to control your emotions and to find ways to cope with bad moods, disappointment or, for example, reluctance in different situations.
- Ability to persuade
People don’t always see eye to eye, and you often need to use your powers of persuasion to turn the situation in your favor and move in the direction that suits you. Persuasion is a communication tool that requires confidence and the ability to argue and reason. Persuasion is therefore one of the skills that can help you improve your daily life and achieve the results you want. Situations in which persuasion can be used can vary widely, from minor decisions such as choosing where to have dinner to major decisions such as choosing where to live. It is therefore a skill worth developing and one that has many obvious benefits in everyday life.
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS?
Communication skills are the key to success. But what can you do to improve them? Communication skills can be learned and developed through constant practice. There are many ways to develop these skills, so we have written down some tips.
Practicing active listening is a good start. Effective communicators are always good listeners. Active listening helps you get the point of the conversation, ask clarifying questions, and contribute. On the other hand, you also need to focus on non-verbal communication, for example, paying attention to facial expressions and body language. Understanding non-verbal communication is important both as a listener and as a speaker. Your facial expressions and body language will influence the first impression you leave on others when you deliver your message. Keeping your facial expressions and using the right body language will help you communicate your message and engage your listeners.
In addition to the above, improving your communication skills means learning to control your emotions. It is important to manage your emotions and express them appropriately for the sake of clear communication and your own personal well-being. Allowing strong emotions to take unnecessary control of a situation can lead to conflict.
Practicing public speaking also helps a lot. Regularly speaking and presenting in front of a group will bring out your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Once you know your weaknesses, you can start focusing more on them to develop your communication skills.
In our communication training, participants can perfect their communication techniques according to their own needs, learn to understand themselves better as communicators, develop their listening and self-expression skills, and more. At work and in our private lives, we all need to communicate in one way or another. This is why it is important to understand the value of effective communication and the impact it can have on the quality of your personal life and your professional opportunities.
Let’s talk. Helen Pärli | +372 55617100 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.smartful.ee