We use communication skills every day in nearly every environment, including in the workplace. Whether, you’re an entry-level employee, a job seeker or a senior manager and leader, being able to communicate effectively is essential for your career development. Clear communication skills will not only take your career in the right direction but also help you land the job you want, as well as secure promotions.
The importance of communication skills
Communication plays a fundamental role in our daily lives. For some, good communication comes naturally, but for others, it can be harder to articulate their thoughts and feelings when conversing, often leading to conflict and fundamental errors. For example, a well-crafted speech or email can help you avoid potential issues, enhance your reputation and persuade others of your idea. On the other hand, failing to communicate effectively, could result in you missing your chance of closing a life-changing deal, securing your dream job or advancing in your career.
As you hone your communication skills in the workplace, you increase your recognition as a key player within a certain company, industry and community. Eventually, people start seeing you as the go-to person when an important job needs to be done. As a result, communication is one of the most common employability skills in job adverts and across most industries. Hence, it would come to no surprise that jobs requiring advanced communication often pay more.
The 4 types of communication
Verbal – Verbal communication is used to transfer information through speaking or sign language. It is the most common form of communication in presentations, phone calls, meetings and one-on-one conversations. Verbal communication is fundamentally important due to its fundamental efficiency.
Nonverbal – Nonverbal communication can be both intentional and unintentional and refers to the use of body language, gestures and facial expressions to convey information. What’s important to note here is that nonverbal communication is particularly helpful when trying to understand others’ thoughts and feelings.
Written – Written communication is the act of writing to convey information. Writing is commonly used to share information through books, blogs and letters helping people to keep a record for reference.
Visual – Visual communication is the act of using photographs, art, sketches, charts and graphs to convey information. Visuals function as an aid during presentations to provide helpful context alongside written and/or verbal communication.
The benefits of communication skills in career development
The most successful organisations understand that if they are to be successful in today’s competitive business world, good communication is essential at all company levels. Hence, employees with good communication skills are highly sought after and significantly rewarded. Simply put, effective and robust communication is the ultimate skill set in your career.
So, here is a number of ways, good communication can boost your career development, whether you are job searching or after a promotion.
…captivate your audience
Different styles of communication are appropriate in different situations. And people with effective communication skills are capable of considering their audience and recognising the most effective style to communicate with each one of them.
…help handle and resolve conflict
Communication skills play a key role in conflict resolution. Most conflicts arise out of miscommunication, poor articulation or misinterpretation of a message. However, communication is also the strongest tool at hand for conflict resolution.
…help decode the attitude of the listener
Through effective communication skills, the speaker can successfully decipher the attitude of their audience through certain reactions. The appearance of the listeners and receivers often conveys their attitudes, feelings, and thoughts regarding the messages they have read or heard.
For example, if they are displaying “closed” body language such as crossed arms or legs, or hunched shoulders, they might be feeling anxious, angry or nervous. But if they are displaying “open” body language with both feet on the floor and arms by their side or on the table, they are likely feeling positive and open to information. However, you should always remember communication is a two-way process. So always pay attention to other people’s verbal and nonverbal signals as well as your own.
The ability to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues and managers is crucial no matter what sector you work in. Good communication improves teams, inspires high performance and enhances the workplace culture.
…result in strong writing, selling and persuasion skills.
Writing well is a major component of a successful career hence being able to clearly and concisely write your ideas, in an unambiguous way forms a powerful skill not many people possess. In addition, selling plays an important role in your career progression as it can be cleverly used to influence stakeholders in your favour.
In every aspect of your job, you’ll have to communicate in one way or other. It’s important to understand just how valuable effective communication is and the huge impact it can have on your relationships and your progression within the working world. For more career advice and tips on career progression, development and job hunting visit our Zoek Info Hub.
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