We work very hard to succeed in our professional life and career. We take courses, volunteer, network, work hard etc. One key thing we often miss out on is our communication skills. Communication skills are needed at every level and minute of your professional life. Whether you are leading a meeting with business stakeholders, or working on an important documentation, it is your communications skills that will tell stand you out.
Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture North America business recently in an interview with CNBC was asked her greatest advice she would give.
"What's the greatest advice I give?" Sweet tells CNBC. "Develop excellent communication skills." Both in person and in writing, such as when using email.
"I think people underrate the importance of investing in your communication skills as a way to progress in your career," Sweet says.
The best investment a professional can make is to develop one often overlooked skill, the CEO says.
Here's why the communication skills matters so much: Bosses notice when employees communicate well and when they do not.
"An employee, even a very junior person, if they can articulately summarize a meeting," she says, "if they can put together a presentation and even emails that are really salient and to the point, they are so valued." Employees who cannot, on the other hand, can find their prospects dimming
Even the business leader herself makes time to practice these skills. "Every year, I spend time to improve how I communicate," Sweet says.
Effective communication skills are essential to success in many aspects of life. Many jobs require strong communication skills and people with good communication skills usually enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family.
Effective communication is a key interpersonal skill and learning how we can improve our communication has many benefits.
There are various ways to improve your communication.
Have One Conversation at a Time
Multitasking may be fine for some, but people rarely want your divided attention. If too many things are going on, you're likely to miss important details that might make the difference between success and failure. Whether you are having a conversation in person or on the phone, give the other person focused time. You'll make them feel important and worthy. Plus your conversations will actually be shorter,
Have a straight posture when speaking
Siting up or standing straight and looking into people's eye when talking show that you are you are interested in the topic being talked.
Tailor your message to the audience
The best communicators adjust how they talk based on whom they're speaking to; you'd probably use a different style of communication with co-workers or your boss compared your friend or your family. Always try to keep the other person's perspective in mind when you try to get your message across.
Jotting down notes before speaking will
Jot down notes before speaking to help you organize your thoughts and let you be more prepared. It will also give you the opportunity to practice your talk and let you be seen as more confident and prepared.
Be specific and brief in your communications
Keep your emails and communications at the professional level short and to the point. It's a good policy for both written and verbal communication. People, especially at Sr level like it if you can communication the information to them to the point and in few words.
Never talk over people
Communication doesn't mean talking to people but also listening to people. A person who can talk over people will often miss on important information. He will also not be liked and respect by his supervisors and peers
Communication is a two way process, so improving communication involves both how we send and receive messages