Nobody is born a good communicator. People become good communicators with practice. If you wish to improve your communication skills to have a good professional career, you may have to follow some rules and a gradual process. Especially, in times of a pandemic that has left all of us confined to our homes, you may try and improve your communication skills as it comes in extremely handy. Working from home is so much more than just sitting in front of a computer in our home and working day and night.
Here are 5 tips that will not only help you to improve your communication skills but also come in handy in office work. Keep reading for the tips:
1. Clear and Concise Statement
First, you must not assume that everyone instantly understands what you are talking about. Tell me exactly what your point is. There is no use in being smart if nobody understands you. This is why you should always ask if everyone understood what you said. Explain repeatedly when necessary.
2. Avoid Confusing Pronouns Like ‘it’, ‘This’ ‘That’
When you talk about something, do not use terms that are confusing. Mention the exact context and topic you are discussing rather than using terms such as ‘this topic’, ‘that thing’ etc.
By avoiding vague words, you make yourself clear and steer away from any possible miscommunication.
Example: If you say ‘I asked him to do that instead of this, your words stir up so much confusion in just one sentence. You asked who to do what instead of what? That’s a lot of vagueness! You can modify your statement to skip the overused words, both in oral and written statements. Instead of the first sentence, you can try saying ‘I asked Peter to review the audit files instead of remaking it all over again’ which clears up the questions and confusion so easily.
3. Mention Information Like ‘What’, ‘How’, and ‘when’
When you are talking about a job that is to be done, be precise and straightforward, state clearly What exactly you want to be done, How you’d prefer it, and of course by when it needs to be done.
When it comes to working from home, chances are, most of you are multitasking. In these cases, searching for information becomes a bit of a bother. If you stick to these rules, the chances of miscommunication and mishaps while working from home reduce significantly, and improve your communication skills by a large margin.
4. The Digital Water Cooler Chitchat
Don’t forget the water cooler chitchat. This is one of the major moral boasters when working from home, as not only it improves friendliness between the team member but it also improves their mental condition and productivity. Talking about your hobbies or idle chitchat is not always wasting time. Often, many members of a team feel disconnected or distant from others which raises confusion. This leads to a drop in performances. Informal chatting has a very positive impact on the mental condition of you and your teammates. Even though it is not official work talk, this is extremely necessary to keep the productivity of your team boosted. In this way, you can improve your communication skills, as well as that of your colleagues too.
This is why you need to arrange a small 10-minute session of online interaction where no work will be discussed. Just informal conversation between the workers to keep them connected socially.
5. Write Down the Points to Discuss
When talking about something or explaining something to a team member while working from home, plan beforehand. Set up a note and write down the points you plan to mention. Decide how you will explain so that you don’t flood the listener with extra and insignificant information which messes up and makes your point really hard to understand for the listener.
While these are the five most important rules of good communication, there are various other factors involved. Do avoid rambling because the longer you go on about a particular topic, the more people start to zone out. So cut to the chase, and get to the point quickly. Remember to be confident while you talk, even if you don’t feel so because while working remotely you just have your voice to interject, so it is important to sound confident.
Like it was mentioned earlier, Nobody is born a good communicator. Just keep these things in mind and you’ll become one too.