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Developing Great Communication Skills

Communication skills have been the subject of intense research and analysis for several decades now. With medical and scientific knowledge gaining new ground on psychotherapy, linguistics and neuroscience, the science of communication continue to evolve and adapt as does this fast-changing culture. The corporate world has done a reasonably good job at keeping up with the changes by developing communication training programs on massive levels across the board. However, while communication may be changing rapidly, there are still certain fundamental characteristics that are an imperative part of good communication. In this article we will look at a few such aspects that companies focus on to answer the critical question, “How to improve communication skills”:

Positive Affirmation

Companies realize that people like their accomplishments to be acknowledged. That’s why many companies have systems or programs built into jobs that create incentives or rewards for work well done. But this can also be done well through effective business communication skills. Managers are trained to acknowledge the productivity of their employees, to boost the morale and self-esteem of the employee. In some places, this is done by acknowledging the ‘top performer’ of the month at a prominent place for public viewing. Certain jobs also offer monetary rewards that can be a powerful incentive for people to maintain their high level of performance. Ultimately the idea focuses on the notion that people like to be praised and recognized for their efforts.

Proactive Criticism

Companies also understand the importance of not damaging an employee’s morale with harsh or extremely critical feedback. While such measures may be necessary on some occasions, most people are generally keenly aware of their deficiencies. Department heads are taught to communicate tactfully by pointing out these deficiencies in a tactful manner that enables the employee to realize his or her own mistake and is motivated to take corrective action. This goes a long way in creating an openness in the employee to receive constructive criticism.

Personal Responsibility

Employees can often feel like they’re just another cog in the wheel and this contributes to a low sense of importance or significance which can result in lower work efficiency But ideas have consequences and staff working in business communication departments must understand that this applies to individuals within a work place too. In light of that, it is necessary for managers to foster within their employees a sense of self-worth stemming from being responsible. The greater the significance of responsibility, the more the sense of duty and care that is put forth in accomplishing the task. This drastically improves work ethic, which is ultimately good for the company.

Ultimately it must be said that communication must factor in a fundamental understanding of human psyche. This is what Communication Skills Training actually focuses on. Training and equipping employees with the tools for effective communication ultimately benefits in creating a company that fosters a culture of efficient communication.

Workplace Communication Tips for Introverts

There are significant differences in the way extroverts and introverts communicate at work, and introverts need to be aware of these differences if they’re to get the most out of workplace communications.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference is that extroverts are quicker communicators than introverts – quicker in terms of starting conversations, and in the speed at which they talk. Extroverts tend to ask a lot of questions and shift quickly from topic to topic, and introverts can be overwhelmed by listening to an extroverted speaker while processing their own thoughts about what the speaker is saying.

In contrast, introverts often hesitate before talking and may take a long time to explain things. Introverts may also mumble to themselves, start talking in the middle of a thought, or suffer from a tip of the tongue problem where they can’t retrieve the word they want to use.

Introverts can also struggle to be fluent in a conversation if they aren’t very familiar with the subject they are talking about. This is partly because extroverts tend to know a little about a lot of topics, while introverts tend to have more in-depth knowledge of a smaller range or subjects. Extroverts also tend to be better at using humour and body language to keep a conversation flowing.

Here’s some communication tips for introverts who want to get more out of workplace communications:

- Always do a bit of preparation or research before important meetings, phone calls or interviews (that way introverts are more likely to think of something to say when put on the spot or engaged in debate with louder, faster-thinking extroverts)

- Take notes during meetings – this allows introverts to be less dependent on their weaker short-term memory and frees up mental resources so they can be more fluent in conversation

- Check for indications of understanding when you finish making a comment (sometimes introverts make incomplete statements and don’t realise the person, or persons, they are talking to hasn’t heard or understood what they have said)

- Talk more loudly – introverts tend to talk too quietly, so if in doubt it’s better to up the volume a bit

- At social events and conferences, talk to quieter extroverts or more talkative introverts, rather than loud extroverts or retiring introverts (loud extroverts can be poor listeners while it can be hard to initiate conversation with very quiet introverts)

-If managing a mixed group of introverts and extroverts, avoid group brainstorming sessions (which often tend to be dominated by opinionated extroverts) – instead get everyone to prepare their ideas beforehand, and then get everyone to contribute their thoughts in a group meeting.

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