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communication skills

Why Communication Skills Are a Stepping Stone for Your Career

Why Communication Skills Are a Stepping Stone for Your Career

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When talking about skills for achieving professional success, communication skills are definitely some of the most sought-out. In every industry, recruiters and hiring managers alike are looking to hire and promote people who are skilled in their area, but who also happen to be solid and efficient communicators.

What are communication skills?

In a few words, they are a subset of soft skills that not only help us to express ourselves but to actually collaborate and cooperate with others. These are the skills that often make or break what could otherwise be a high-performing team.

Unlike hard skills such as accounting or translation, which are part of a specialized skill set within an area of knowledge, communication skills are typically associated with emotional and interpersonal intelligence.

Communication skills in the workplace (and why your boss wants you to have them)

Why is it so important for you to develop good communication skills in the workplace? It’s very simple, they will take you further. They are the key to opening doors and opportunities you would have never thought of.

From a well-crafted email that straightens out a messy situation with your coworkers to the two-minute pitch that could get you to sign a new client. Having effective communication skills can make the difference between a successful or frustrating outcome for everyone involved.

Have you ever been in a situation where a deadline is not met because the instructions were not clear? Well, hop on board because pretty much everyone has. Which, by the way, is not supposed to discourage you. On the contrary, this is just one of many examples of everyday workplace struggles that could be avoided by being a highly skilled communicator.

Strong communication skills can turn the eyes of decision-makers your way.

Companies know that having employees with excellent communication skills can save them time, money, and a lot of trouble. No wonder they are always looking for people with these skills, both in and outside their workforce.

For hiring managers, it is not just about having salespeople and managers who know how to craft and deliver a great speach, but individuals across the company who can persuade, connect, and exchange ideas with the rest of their teams.

Communicating like a pro will showcase the rest of your skills and potential.

It’s how you show your knowledge and initiative to lead. You might have the greatest solution to a problem your boss has been dealing with for over a month, but if you don’t know how to properly share it… well, it might not get you that promotion.

How to improve your communication skills?

While there certainly are online courses you can take to improve your communication skills, the truth is, you need to work on them every day. Or at least every time you interact with another person.

Of course, in a post-pandemic scenario, some of those skills might be a little rusty with the lack of face-to-face interactions. But that is precisely why they can help you stand out. So whether you are back at the office or not, here are some skills you can work on:

Practice your active listening

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that listening to what others are saying is a must. How else will you get to know your team’s point of view or understand a task? However, if we are not intentionally paying close attention, we will likely lose some major details that could transform the outcome.

Find the rhythm

Nobody likes to be interrupted, but listening to long monologues isn’t really the best way for a team to be productive. So while you are applying your active listening skills, it might also be a good idea to test your instincts to know when and how to participate or intervene in a conversation.

Read the nonverbal cues

This will definitely seal the winning combo with the last two in a live conversation. In every conversation, the context will have an effect on the content. For example, the person you are talking to suddenly stiffens up or switches a faster speaking pace when talking about a report. In that case, you can definitely find the rhythm of a conversation, where it’s headed, and what your intervention should be.

Work on your writing

Yes, it is great to have the right skills to interact in a Zoom or face-to-face conversation. Still, by all means, do not forget about your writing skills. You don’t have to write award-winning emails, but it would be great if you at least proofread the final version.  Not just for emails but messaging apps, presentations, and more.

Your audience, whoever they may be, might not see your effort but will definitely notice that one typo.

So there you go, a quick intro to how becoming an excellent and intuitive communicator will help you advance your career. Next time you ask your boss for a promotion or start looking for a job, remember that these skills cannot only get you through the interview but to your next career move.

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