Learning to improve your communication skills will provide you with the tools to improve or solidify your place at work. Communication is paramount to cultivating interactions that matter when it comes to your career. Communicating your intent to climb the proverbial ladder should be more than, “I want to be the store manager.” By learning to communicate effectively, every time you have an opportunity you will can convey more than just wanting to be store manager, you can say, “I want to be the store manager and this is why I would be good it.”
Creating positive and meaningful discourse with those around you creates an atmosphere of confidence and trust. The people who make those decisions will be confident that you are the one to be trusted with the reigns. Updating your communication skills is as important as updating your computer skills. To improve your skills you will need to become a better listener and a better speaker.
According to Stephen R. Covey in is #1 National Bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “If you really seek to understand, without hypocrisy and without guile, there will be time when you will be literally stunned with the pure knowledge and understanding that will flow to you from another human being.” With that being said Covey coined the term “empathetic listening”. His basic premise is to listen emphatically which means you listen to understand the person rather than countering the person.
Covey’s empathetic listening is seeking first to understand what the other person is feeling, what the other person is seeing. It is through listening emphatically you get into the other person’s mind and see the world through their eyes. You can respond effectively because have an accurate account of the situation.
Speaking effectively conveys a message to your listener. However, you want that message to be what you intended. We all remember our first crush and how crazy we went trying to figure out what he meant by, “seeya later”. When we speak we do not want the receiver to have to guess at our message. If we speak to what was said, as opposed to how we interpreted it, then we have spoken effectively.
When you speak to coworkers, your boss or other professionals it is important to speak clearly and concisely. We talk about writing clearly and concisely and it is just as important for our verbal communications to reflect the same kind of professionalism. The listener may not be as intent as you on listening empathically.
Communication skills are important in any career. Whether you are the boss or subordinate, self-employed or factory worker, learning to communicate effectively will only help you ensure that your voice is heard and that you hear the voice of those around you. Updating your communications skills will build lasting and trusting professional relationships that will help you to further your career.