Communication Skills are Highly Sought Out in 2019
Communication-based skills like Persuasion and Collaboration were among the top five most in-demand soft skills for 2019 by Linkedin. In a time where face-to-face interaction is at an all time low, effective communication is key. Self awareness is key for becoming a better communicator.
We’ve all had moments where miscommunications led to mistakes in the workplace. So if your 2019 resolutions include better work performance, think about making effective communication a top priority.
Self-Awareness is Key in Becoming a Better Communicator
As a startup consultant, I’ve learned that to be a better communicator requires a certain level of self-awareness. Self-awareness is simply being mindful about your thoughts, words, and actions, and how they affect the people around you. Here are my four top tips for improving your self-awareness so that you can be a better communicator at work:
4 Easy Self-Awareness Techniques to Improve Communication Skills:
#1 – Do a 2-Minute Personal Check-In, Every Morning
Reacting emotionally tends to come across poorly in the workplace. Before you walk into work, take 60 seconds to simply check in with how you’re feeling. Are you feeling frustrated? Anxious? Tired? Excited? Acknowledging your emotions (good or bad) is the first step to practicing self awareness. It allows you to guide your thoughts and mindset for the rest of the day.
Once you’ve recognized your emotion, take another 60 seconds to simple breathe, and give yourself 1-2 phrases of affirmation. Some examples are: “I can do this today” or “I’m grateful for ____ today.” Setting a positive tone before walking into your workplace can help you focus on your priorities, think rationally, and communicate more effectively with those around you.
#2 – Listen with Intention
It can be tempting to “zone out” or partially listen in meetings or conversations with colleagues. However, listening is a key to developing a sense of self and social/emotional awareness. Practicing listening with intent not only is respectful to those speaking to you, but it also is good practice for living in the moment, and strengthening relationships.
When you listen intently, you’re more likely to remember names, instructions, concerns, and stories of the people you work with. Listening intently will provide you a better understanding of how other people around you communicate. Thus, giving you a better understanding of how to communicate with them in future situations.
#3 – Never Rush to Respond
It’s easy to get defensive quickly when an aggressive email comes your way, or a colleague makes an offensive comment. One of the most difficult strategies for self-awareness is having patience in your response to negative, harsh, or offensive remarks. Never rush to respond, and instead think about what the other person’s intentions might be. After all, most negative communication is often a miscommunication. Tension and arguments can easily be avoided by making sure that you feel level-headed when responding to difficult matters.
#4 – Practice Mindful Honesty
I have a friend who hates the word “brutally honest” because it connotes the truth as always being brutal. I argue that there is truth in the term “brutally honest.” Much of the time, the truth feels brutal and can make people feel uncomfortable.
In the workplace, honesty can help avoid miscommunications. If you’re uncomfortable with a situation, a colleague’s actions, or a process at work, it’s better to speak up early, and honestly. However, since the truth CAN be brutal, it’s important to be mindful about to whom, and how you deliver your honest response on a matter. Be mindful of why you’re bringing up a problem, and think about who the best person is to bring it up to.
About Victoria: Orange County, CA-based project manager for start-ups and new companies. My specialties include public relations, communications, and strategy. I love helping new companies define their voice, vision, and values. My passions include wellness, personal development, entrepreneurship, and fitness. Learn more about me here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brodskyvictoria/