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Why Are Communication Skills Important at Work?

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Why Are Communication Skills Important at Work?

Why Are Communication Skills Important at Work?

A post from our Communication blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
If you read any job advertisements in the past year or two, you probably noticed that having good communication skills is often mentioned as one of the most important requirements, regardless of the exact position or the industry.

Needless to say, this skill is absolutely vital in today's business world.

The way we work and interact with each other has also undergone a significant change over the past couple of years.

These days, we use phones, emails, various chat applications, and even video conferencing systems to interact with other people.

As a professional in today's rapidly changing world, you need to have great verbal and non-verbal communication skills.And although some people are born with the ability to speak and write eloquently, others need to cultivate this skill with time and effort.

Regardless of which category you belong to, this isn't something you should ignore. It doesn't matter if you consider yourself an introvert or think you can't express yourself very well. It's always within your ability to learn - and here's why you should.

The importance of communication skills

Better Job Prospects

One of the most crucial benefits of having good communication skills is that it greatly improves your chances of landing a job.

Think about it: whenever you apply for a new position, you need to submit a job application, along with your CV and a cover letter.

If you're called in for an interview, you have to convince the recruiters that you're suitable for the job and that you have the right skills and experience. If you're successful, you're either called in for another interview or get the job straight away. At this point, you need to send your acceptance and a thank you letter to your new employers.

As you probably noticed from this example, you need to be able to communicate effectively via different mediums in order to get the job - you wouldn't really be able to do that without good communication skills.

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Efficiency

Good communication skills will also make you more efficient at work.

You will be able to express your points clearly, interact with your teammates and colleagues well, and communicate with your clients or customers more effectively.

Not only does this improve your overall efficiency at work, but it also means that there will be less room for misunderstandings and your relationship with everyone involved in your professional life will be better.

The result? Way less mistakes!

And let's face it, the less mistakes the better. Reducing errors has so many benefits. These include the amount of time saved on having to fix things, the cost itself of having to fix anything, and of course, the amount of face that you save by not having made errors in the work place.

And those spending less time on fixing mistakes have more time to be working constructively.

Team Building

Good communication skills also help with team building, and help to make sure that your collaborative projects run smoothly.

The better that you are able to communicate, the more that you can adapt and help those in your team who don't have equal skills in this area. Because communication is a two way process, it is definitely an area where one person's strength can make up for another shortcomings.

Think of how you may be able to draw out the opinion of quiet people on your time, by knowing how to ask good open questions, that are designed to get them to talk, not just provide a one or two word answer. You'll get to know your team members' characters, and their thoughts, which may just be what's needed to unlock that missing piece of the puzzle.

Advancing Your Career

As we mentioned in a previous point, good communication skills will help you become more efficient and productive at work.

Similarly, if you're able to interact with your colleagues and your employer well, you'll have a much better chance of advancing your career.

Good communication skills will give you the confidence to speak up and present your ideas in a clear way. If you don't hesitate to contribute and express your suggestions and solutions, your employers will notice you, helping you climb the career ladder and reach new heights.

That could be in terms of promotions in your existing stream, or movement to another department, because you displayed competency there as well.

Advancing your career

Networking

It's not just professionals who benefit from communication skills, however. Business owners need to have effective communication skills in order to succeed too.

Needless to say, networking is a very important aspect of building a business and if you shy away from interaction with associates, potential customers, investors or other people, you won't find much success in business.

However, if you're able to explain your business idea or make your sales pitch eloquently, you'll convince these important people to take an interest in your business.

One of the characteristics of good communicators is that they're able to explain an idea in a clear and concise manner, but also in as short a time frame as possible. many networking events are geared around having short pieces of time to introduce yourself, what you offer etc. The better your communication skills, the more impact you can have in these short networking time slots.

The Ability to Influence Others and Build Relationships

Almost everything that you've read so far is possible because of one key thing: good communication will allow you to influence others. Having the ability to express well will allow you to win over well, so whether it's selling a product to a client, or winning over that HR person interviewing you for a job, it's that ability to influence that gets the decision made in your favour.

So, regardless of the field or particular area, you'll get your way a lot more!

Also, with people relocating far more often now than in the past, far more friendships develop with people that you meet at various organizations compared to 50 years ago. Then, the bulk of your friends were probably made in your formative and schooling years. Now, you make new friends all the way through your life.

Having good communication skills will allow you to build relationships and new friendships with colleagues a lot quicker.

Have Higher Self-Esteem

Research done by the Livestrong Foundation directly ties good communication skills with higher self-esteem.

People with good communication skills tend to be more extraverted, and more positive on the outside. This is turn produces better feedback from those around them, making them well liked, hence the more positive self-esteem.

Even without the positive feedback of others though, the simple ability to be able to articulate yourself well does also seem to link to having a strong positive self-image.

So working on your communication skills can help an intravert become more of an extravert, make you more positive and feel better about yourself.

What a winner!

Conclusion

Learning how to communicate better will make your life easier in several different ways. You'll be able to achieve more of your goals, put across your ideas clearly, meet the right people, and ultimately progress more quickly in your career.

If you are successful in communicating in a work environment, there is no doubt that your life outside work will also greatly benefit.

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