Why is it so important to communicate efficiently?
According to Forbes, one of the five soft skills most valued by the job market is good communication.
Knowing how to communicate can make all the difference in a professional context. In every interaction, you need to know how to present your thoughts, questions, and opinions so that people understand exactly what you mean.
Good communication ensures greater fluidity in the processes of an organisation, since it limits misunderstandings, the scope for interpretation and, in some cases, the failure to understand what is really meant. When all parties understand each other, what is expected to be accomplished happens in a clear and objective way. For this reason, this skill is increasingly valued by companies, as they encourage teams to improve their communication skills.
We are not all born with an innate ability to inspire others. There is indeed a group of people for whom communication is motivating, natural, and spontaneous, but it is ever more vital that professionals develop skills that allow them to be successful in a professional context.
In truth, anyone can improve their communication skills. As long as they are motivated and seek the right knowledge, they will find the key strategies and tools to keep progressing.
Knowing how to communicate is, in fact, crucial in a professional (and personal) context, whether in a more direct meeting with a team member, a presentation to several people, or even a hallway chat.
It is the trait that most distinguishes leaders from authoritarian bosses, and it is also the one that allows them to inspire, motivate, and guide teams in an empathetic, engaging, and effective way.
At Slide Lab, we believe there are at least five strategies that will help you improve the way you express yourself and how you are understood.
- Know your audience. Do not underestimate this aspect; communication should not be about you, but about other people. Even if you do not know them personally, try to find out the level of information on the subject you want to discuss, the context in which you will communicate, and even the timing. All these factors contribute directly to the way you should communicate.
- Think about the content, messages, and purpose of your communication. Naturally, in a professional context, there are times when it will not be possible to reflect as much as you would like. However, getting used to structuring ideas will help you maintain a clear and objective communication. Focus on your goal and express only what is needed to achieve it. When it comes to the content of the communication, LESS IS ALWAYS MORE.
- Use body language to your advantage. We know some people are more reserved and others more outspoken. This aspect is natural, but you should enhance your qualities and work on the areas where you feel less comfortable. For example, use an appropriate tone. Stressing key messages allows your speech not to be monotonous. Look your audience in the eye. This will add authenticity to your speech and generate more engagement.
- Be empathetic. This factor is what most sets professional speakers apart from the rest. The key to engaging your audience is to have empathy in your communication. We know that often, in our day to day work, we end up going on autopilot and eventually lose this sensitivity. However, the relevance of the topic, the way you address it, and the closeness you bring to your communication will have a direct impact on the desired outcome.
- Self-evaluate. Since no one knows everything, it is crucial you know yourself better as a communicator, ask for an assessment, record yourself, and practice as much as possible. Most importantly, be brave and know that you are capable of tackling these challenges. Only then will you be able to progress and take your communication skills to a new level.