8 Reasons Why Improving Your Communication Skills Will Improve Your Career
Having good communication skills can improve every area of life. From picking up the phone to make a simple enquiry, to having a more fulfilling relationship with your partner. But never is the benefit more apparent than in the workplace. It can mean the difference between getting the job, or not, and every opportunity that comes thereafter. So here are a few of the crucial ways in which developing your communication skills can boost your chances of career success.


1. Securing an interview

Getting a foot in the door is the first challenge for any job seeker, and first impressions count for everything. If your communication skills leave something to be desired over telephone, email or—of course—the all-important CV, chances are you won’t have the chance to meet with your prospective employers in person. A few of the key things that employers look for in a candidate, before they request a face-to-face interview, are:

●     Comfortable confidence

It’s the ‘comfortable’ part of this equation which can be tricky to master without effective communication skills. If a potential candidate comes across as awkward and conversationally stunted on the phone, it’s unlikely an employer will see the assertive qualities that they’re looking for in their ideal recruit. Likewise, someone who’s overly confident might come off as arrogant. Again, not a trait which is high up on the list of ‘wants’ for any potential employer. So hitting the mark with your communication from the get-go is essential.

●     The ability to listen

Demonstrating that you’ve listened to (and understood) communications from a prospective employer is fundamental. It suggests motivation, attention to detail, willingness, reliability and even trustworthiness. And if you lack the ability to listen, well, that suggests quite the opposite.

     Someone who can think for themselves

Passive types lack the self-belief to communicate effectively in the workplace. And if your conversation feels a little paltry and you can’t think of any relevant questions to ask, it could read as a lack of enthusiasm for the role. Again, it’s a balancing act, because no busy recruiter has time to listen to a candidate blab on for hours. But demonstrating a genuine interest, through doing your research and communicating as such, is key to securing a face-to-face meeting.

2. Increasing your chances of interview success

So you’ve secured an interview date, now it’s time to wow them in person. And that’s sometimes easier said than done, especially if your confidence levels aren’t where they could be. Impressing someone in a interview is a fine art. Again, prospective employers want their new team member to be confident but not cocky, agreeable but not passive—and perception is crafted entirely by effective communication. Both in the verbal and non-verbal sense.

3. Doing your job well and avoiding mistakes

In any role, new or established, effective communication is the only means of ensuring that you’re on the same page as your peers and management. Following instructions and delegating tasks requires the ability to listen well and speak directly. Without these attributes, there can’t be clear understanding and this ultimately leads to mistakes, which cost not only your professional reputation but, also, real money. So developing these skills can actually make you more productive and, therefore, much more valuable to your business.

4. Becoming a better listener

This is about learning to listen actively, and you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this in their day-to-day lives. When we listen actively, we develop trust amongst our peer group, we broaden our own perspective on things and develop knowledge; and we become more approachable to those around us. Listening is integral to troubleshooting and, again, saves businesses time and money.

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5. Being seen as motivated

Passive communication can be a real workplace burden. It prevents you from communicating your ideas coherently and, worse still, stops you thinking of new ideas altogether if it isn’t quashed. Effective, assertive, communication not only gives you the tools to think more clearly; it allows you the confidence to directly convey them at every business level. And we all know that colleagues who appear more motivated are more likely to be given opportunities for progression.

6. Giving and receiving feedback

Constructive feedback can be hard to give, and to take—regardless of the role that you are in. It requires careful listening, empathy, and negotiation skills, on both sides. And at one point or another, everybody will be in this situation. So brushing up on these skills can take you from: “my opinion is the only one that matters” to: “I value your opinion and let’s work out where we go from here”.

7. Becoming a better influencer

Being an influential figure in the workplace makes it more likely that you’ll be put forward for promotion. But, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, it’s harder than it’s ever been to capture the attention of a digitally distracted peer group, and one of the main ways that you can affect influence is through refining your communication skills. Peers are more likely to support a colleague who is likeable—and this is achieved through attentive listening, conveying understanding, empathising, and cultivating connections. It also has a lot to do with body language and its ability to elicit trust, when used effectively.


8. Inspiring and motivating others within your team

Leadership happens through a process of building trust and establishing mutually beneficial ways of working. Not just bulldozing your ideas through to completion. Yes, there are plenty of bully-bosses out there, but becoming someone that others actually look up to is about considering the needs of others with as much importance as your own. Otherwise known as assertiveness. For many people, assertiveness doesn’t come easy, so developing this style of communication might require proper training.

If you’d like to know more about how to develop your communication skills, visit us here to see what a communication course could have to offer.

Want to Communicate More Effectively?

Activia offers online, public and onsite courses to match your needs.

FIND OUT MORE!

Sources:

Effective Communication: How it helps you succeed in your career

List of Key Communication Skills for Career Progression

How to Increase Your Influence at Work

8 Traits Employers Are Really Looking For