What is Communication and Why is It Important?
Communication is the ability to communicate orally, in writing, or via electronic means. It also covers interpersonal communication, presentation and negotiation skills. In work communication skills are important for effective meetings and developing positive working relationships with colleagues and clients. It’s also the signals you give people without even realising it. Body language says a lot about you, and to be a great communicator you need to be aware of how your body language is portraying you too.
You have been communicating since you were born. Babies cry to get their parents’ attention, and as children grow they develop more sophisticated ways of letting people know what they want, as well as listening to others. Most of us know how to communicate, but not everyone is good at communication.
To be a good communicator you need to convey your ideas and opinions well, but also listen to others and take their ideas into consideration. Effective communication means that everyone is on the same page. Good communication is really important in the world of work. In order to perform successfully alongside your colleagues, understand your role, and promote the organisation in a positive manner you will need to communicate in many different ways. Effective communication will enable you to progress in your career too; networking is one of the best ways to find new opportunities, and good networkers are good communicators!
Developing and Demonstrating Communication Skills.
There are so many different methods of communicating, so there are also many ways you can strengthen your communication skills. From writing great emails to delivering fantastic presentations, take the time to practice especially in the areas you’re less confident in. Try asking a friend, teacher, or family member how well they think you communicate in different ways like writing, speaking, body language, etc. and if they have any pointers to help you improve. Remember some of the best communicators weren’t naturally great at communicating but they took the time to learn and build their skills, and you can too.
When you’re at a job interview or writing a covering letter you have already shown a prospective employer your communication skills. Make sure you are prepared and take some time to think about what exactly you want to communicate about yourself. If you’ve practised answering potential interview questions and checked out your body language, then you should be well on your way to showing off great communication skills!
In an interview you may also be asked specifically about particular types of communication. For example, if you’re going for a role where you will deal with customers you will probably be asked if you’ve dealt with customers in the past, or dealt with difficult people in general, and how you handled it. It’s good to have a think before the interview about some examples where you’ve communicated well in different settings and with different types of people. As always remember the STARR method.