How to be a Better Communicator


If you take a browse through the abundance of online articles that cover the traits that employers seek out the most, one that repeatedly and unsurprisingly makes an appearance is communication; both written and verbal. An employer can judge this prior to hiring somebody through exchanging emails, speaking on the phone, or in the interview room. Here are a few things you can focus on to improve your communication skills.

It's easy to forget, but listening is just as important as responding, if not more so. If you focus entirely on your response, you can easily misinterpret the question or misunderstand a vital point being made. It is important to make the other person or people in the conversation aware that you are paying attention to them and making them the centre of your regard.

We spend a lot of time quickly writing messages to our friends and family on mobile phones and computers and pushing send without even thinking. In a work environment, it is important to proof read all your messages for spelling, grammar, formatting, the correct use of formal language, use of the correct signature and it's even worth checking that you are sending the email to the correct recipient.

It is also important to maintain a positive and assertive attitude while at work. Problems will inevitably occur, but you can either shout about them or work decisively to solve them. If you portray yourself as a positive person, people will find you more approachable and you will encourage a more positive environment for you and your colleagues.

It also pays to think before you speak, in every circumstance. If you take a moment before speaking you can effectively consider the best way to communicate your message which will make you come across as a more intelligent person. If you respond immediately you rely too heavily on your initial reaction which may not be appropriate or professional.

To make yourself clearer when you are speaking, particularly to a larger audience, make sure you are speaking at a reasonable rate. Slowing down allows others to understand you better. Also, accentuating your words and clearly pronouncing everything goes a long way. If you mumble a lot naturally, try to avoid this, and also try to avoid using filler words like "umm" or "err" or phrases such as "you know" at the end of sentences. Be clear and concise. Sometimes it also helps to accompany your speaking with simple hand gestures to help emphasise particular points.

Maintaining positive body language makes you come across as a more professional and approachable person. Try not to cross your arms as it does not depict you as an accessible person, and try to maintain eye contact with your audience to ensure them that you are paying attention to what they are saying.

And lastly, don't forget to smile. People who authentically smile are immediately likeable and if people like you they will pay closer attention to the words you are saying, and smiling will help you to build stronger relationships with your colleagues and clients.