Employers want to hire successful, confident employees. Beyond the ability to do the job, employers look for people who fit within the company’s culture and get along with the existing staff. While each job normally has specific skill requirements, there are key abilities all employers look for in job candidates.
The ability to communicate effectively with superiors, colleagues, and staff is essential, no matter what industry you work in. Workers in the digital age must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone, email, and social media.The importance of communication skills are often listed in the “top four” job skills which predict both employee and employer satisfaction!
Here are some of the communications skills that are necessary for success in the workplace.
1. Active listening skills.
Hearing someone and actively listening to them are two different things. Most people hear someone speak and start to form a response in their mind (or worse, start talking) before the person finishes what they’re saying. The key is to listen, which takes more time but produces better results. It means you listen without interruption and then take the time to think and form a response before replying. It takes practice, but it pays off. Be a good listener and remain sensitive to the needs of your workers and boss. This people skill can be practiced; and once honed; you’ll see the difference in the positive reaction of those around you.
2. Nonverbal Communication
Your body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone of voice all color the message you are trying to convey. A relaxed, open stance (arms open, legs relaxed), and a friendly tone will make you appear approachable and will encourage others to speak openly with you. Eye contact is also important; you want to look the person in the eye to demonstrate that you are focused on them and the conversation (however, be sure not to stare at the person, which can make him or her uncomfortable). Also, pay attention to other people’s nonverbal signals while you are talking. Often, nonverbal signals convey how a person is really feeling. For example, if the person is not looking you in the eye, he or she might be uncomfortable or hiding the truth.
Being able to appropriately give and receive feedback is an important communication skill. Managers and supervisors should continuously look for ways to provide employees with constructive feedback, be it through email, phone calls, or weekly status updates. Giving feedback involves giving praise as well – something as simple as saying “good job” or “thanks for taking care of that” to an employee can greatly increase motivation. Similarly, you should be able to accept and even encourage, feedback from others. Listen to the feedback you are given, ask clarifying questions if you are unsure of the issue, and make efforts to implement the feedback.
4. Picking the Right Medium
An important communication skill is to know what form of communication to use. For example, some serious conversations (layoffs, resignation, changes in salary, etc.) are best done in person. You should also think about the person with whom you wish to speak, if they are a very busy person (such as your boss, perhaps), you might want to convey your message through email. People will appreciate your thoughtful means of communication and will be more likely to respond positively to you.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.