We’ve all heard the saying that “communication is key.” Communication affects everything from first impressions to the success of a project.

Communication can also be difficult because of the differing personalities across an organization. Becoming a good communicator is not as simple as just reading tips; you have to train yourself to communicate well. Good communication should become second nature over time. This will also make your actions seem more genuine.

We suggest the following to improve your communication skills:

1. Keep Eye Contact – Diversion tends to say that you are untrustworthy. Show them you have nothing to hide! This can take practice to become comfortable with so don’t fret about it. Always keep working at it.

2. Watch Your Body Language – It’s often said that crossed arms or legs is aggressive and closed off. Be conscious of your habits such as slouching, tapping, or fussing with your clothes. Focus on sitting up straight with both feet on the ground and your hands above the table. This will make you look competent and respectful.

3. Eliminate Passive Aggressive Phrases – There are some words, terms, and phrases that should be eliminated from your everyday speech in order to increase your professionalism such as “I thought you knew” or “That’s not my job”. Be a team player and stay positive.

4. Be Open to New Ideas – The great thing about working with other people is we all come from different backgrounds, upbringings, experiences, and perspectives. Be open to what others have to say and invite ideas to the table because it can be personally beneficial. They might have an idea you wouldn’t think of based of an experience they’ve had. You might just learn something 🙂

5. Repeat Directions Back – Communication has not occurred until the receiver has interpreted the message correctly. Avoid confusion and delay by repeating directions back to the person. It is a way to double check they described what they wanted in a way you understand.

6. Don’t Take It Personally – This is one of the most important aspects of good communication. Things can be lost in translation, especially through emails and text. When you can’t see body language, hear tone of voice, or maintain eye contact, it is easy to assume. Someone who is blunt and cuts to the chase might be seen as cold in their writing but in reality they are a very nice person that writes in an efficient manner.

If you’re looking for more help with career development, we have programs to guide you.