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The Power of Communication: The Communication Skills That Can Help Your Career

Effective communication skills are essential to success in every area of your life, including your career. Whether you’re on the phone with customers, speaking with colleagues at work, or collaborating with teammates, being able to effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings will make you far more successful than those who can’t. To help you develop those skills, here are some quick tips to improve your communication skills and strengthen your career through effective communication.

Listen

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” –Ernest Hemingway

Hands down, the number one most important thing you can do to become a better communicator is to learn to listen better. People will instinctively like you more if you are a good listener. You’ll also be able to make more valuable contributions if you’re truly listening, rather than just thinking about what you’re going to say next.

Be clear and concise

Always keep the two C’s in mind in business writing. This means leaving out anything that is unnecessary and using words that are precise. Avoid big words or jargon or a lot of fluff. It takes some practice, but start by reading over every email before you send it and cutting out anything you don’t need, or that may be confusing.

Take good notes

When you’re communicating with someone in person or over the phone, make sure you’re taking notes. It’s easy to get caught up in the conversation and before you know it, you’re saying things like, “I’ll send you those reports this afternoon when I get back to my desk.” You’ve got to write that down. If you don’t get your “actions” noted somewhere you’ll see them later, you’re at high risk of forgetting… and looking like a flake.

Follow up

Sometimes I hear people say they’re nervous to send follow ups because they don’t want to seem annoying. But if you have a meeting with someone, it’s courteous to send an email or LinkedIn message the next day. Oh, and stop getting mad at people who didn’t respond to your email. They’re just as busy as you are. It’s polite to follow up after a few days so that they have another chance to get back to you.

Conclusion

Effective communication can be the difference between success and failure in the business world. I hope these tips have been helpful in understanding how important communication is. Next week I’ll be discussing flexibility as I continue to explore the top five “soft skills” for your resume.

Psst! Want help with your business writing skills? Contact me about one-on-one coaching!

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