Written by Courtney Wong
Due to the advancement of technology, communication with others has become easier than ever. But what exactly is communication? Communication is the act of conveying and receiving information. It can take many forms such as spoken i.e. face to face or over the phone, non-verbal such as body language, and written such as text messages, emails or through social media.
However, as stated above, communication also involves receiving information, which is vital when attempting to understand others. In simple terms, communication encompasses all the ways in which people interact with others in all aspects of life.
No matter what career path you’ve chosen, clear and effective communication is a key attribute to possess when succeeding in any profession. Additionally, if you are able to communicate your ideas and needs to others and they are also able to do the same, issues can be solved faster.
However, in an article by Forbes, Workforce Solutions Group found that more than 60 percent of employees said applicants “lacked crucial communication and interpersonal skills”. From this quote, it is evident employers see communication as a key factor when hiring potential employees.
Whilst communication is important in all careers, it is crucial in the media industry as it is a place where people source information and it needs to be succinct, clear and trustworthy.
All communication skills are important to be successful both professionally and personally. However, some key skills are more important than others. According to Habits for wellbeing 2017, active listening and correct non-verbal communication is vital when communicating with others.
By taking the time to really listen, understand the speaker and give the right body language such as eye contact and open arms, this aids in the treating the speaker as an equal and helps to get the message across in a positive way. In addition to this, finding common ground, being empathetic and providing feedback can be useful when building trust with the speaker.
Finally, if possible, summarise often and use visual aids to help get your thoughts on paper for others to see.
As stated above, successful communication can assist people with their careers and personal lives. But how can you strengthen your communication skills? According toBeebe & Ivy (2015), the key ways to do so are as follows:
- Understanding non-verbal communication: Do not neglect non-verbal communication because it is just as important as verbal when trying to understand your audience. This includes understanding your own body language because you could be giving others the wrong signal without even knowing
- Know your topic: It is ideal that you know in detail what you are talking about so you can be assertive and answer any questions the audience may have. This will also help to take out the need to use conversation fillers such as “um” or “like”.
- Slow down and think: This will allow you to gather your thoughts, speak professionally and give the audience a chance to take in the information you are transmitting.
- Listen and be patient with others: By giving your audience your full attention, they are more likely to have a positive experience and think of you in a positive light, which in turn builds trust.
- Use correct grammar: When connecting with others through written communication, ensure the use of correct grammar is used as it will add credibility and the receiver will notice these details if not correct.
Overall, it is evident communication is extremely important to succeed professionally and personally. However, in saying that, it is easy to learn how to transmit and receive information in a succinct and clear manner.