In school, we memorize special dates in history and we do math problems. But the skills you really want to develop are your communication skills. It’s no use having a great idea if you can’t explain it to investors, bosses, teammates, and customers. With the right communication skills, you can lead your team and interact properly with most people.
Here are 4 communication skills you should develop:
Public Speaking Skills
You don’t have to be a fantastic speaker on a stage, though it can help you a lot too. But you need to be able to speak with others to explain your position, to persuade people to your way of thinking, and maybe even to motivate others to do their best.
If you’re a good speaker, then job interviews are much easier. You can then deal with your superiors, teammates, and subordinates effectively and respectfully. In fact, you may even end up as your company spokesman for media interviews.
In many ways, writing is a skill that’s needed in just about any industry. Sure, you have jobs like novelists, screenwriters, and advertising copywriters who really need to be excellent writers. But for many jobs, you need to prepare written reports and send emails.
You can improve your writing by doing research on how to write well. But you need to practice too. You can start by using complete words and sentences with your personal emails and social networking messages. A blog can help too!
A lot of people still actually use the telephone these days, despite the popularity of texts and emails. In areas like customer support, people like to have an actual conversation with a real person.
Telephone skills are a bit more difficult than personal conversations because you don’t have the advantage of reading facial expressions and body language to gauge other people’s meaning. You don’t even have the smiley faces to denote humorous statements.
But with a good set of telephone skills, you can learn to communicate with others over the phone and achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself. Whether it’s to persuade a client to do something or to assuage an irate customer, your telephone skills can be very helpful.
You can practice your telephone skills with practice. So if you’re trying to get restaurant reservations, try to call instead of sending a message. Do the same with your friends and family. Sometimes it’s nice to hear a friendly voice, and people may appreciate that you take the trouble of actually speaking with them.
Active Listening Skills
Proper communication is two-way. If you’re a good communicator it doesn’t just mean you’re able to send your message to others. It also means you’re able to listen to what the others are saying.
Active listening is crucial, and at the very least when you’re listening to someone attentively you’re indicating that you’re not ignoring them or belittling what they have to say. If you’re a truly good listener, you may even discern what the other person truly wants.