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Jul 16, 2019

Approx. 7 min. read

Top 5 Communication Skills and How to Improve Them

Developing communication skills is important for both professional and private life. Learn about what are the most important communication skills and...

Top-communication-skills-and-how-to-imporve-them

Developing communication skills is important for both professional and private life. Learn about what are the most important communication skills and how to improve them. 

What are Communications Skills

Communication skills are set of activities that ultimately make a quality public performance. Communication today is very important both in the business world and in private life.

Successful communication helps us better understand people and situations. It helps us overcome diversities, build trust and respect, and create conditions for sharing creative ideas and solving problems

In the business world, many employers believe that proper internal communications can significantly increase employees’ productivity

Although communication itself seems simple, often when we try to establish communication with others or others with us, there is always a chance for a lack of understanding that can cause conflicts and frustrations in personal or professional life in relations with other people. By acquiring effective communication skills, you can better connect with your friends, colleagues, boss…

💡 Check out our guide on Building a Better Company with Internal Communications.

Importance of Developing Communication Skills

In this modern time we live in, we are receiving, sending and processing a large number of messages every day. But successful communication is far more than sharing information, it is also an understanding of the feelings behind this information

Successful communication can deepen relations in personal life or professional life. In personal life, they can help us understand better people and situations that happen on a daily basis. Developing communication skills can help us avoid conflicts, compromise and help in better decision making.  

Here is a great overview of why communication skills are important. 

importance of communication skills

Communication Skills are Important for Organizations

By improving communication skills, we can improve  employee engagement, teamwork, decision-making, interdepartmental communication and problem solving.

For that reason, communication skills are the most demanded soft skills that employers are looking for in their employees. 

communication skills in high demand

Good communication skills enable managers to receive and send negative or heavy messages without creating frustration and disruption of trust. This is important to keep employees motivated and engaged. 

Employees today expect to be informed about every aspect of the business and not to miss any important information. They expect from the leaders to communicate regularly their role and goals. They expect continuous feedback on their work, and they expect to be able to find information that they need in seconds. 

Employers who manage to communicate with their employees properly have much lover turnover rates. 

communication skills important for employee retention

Therefore, employers need to have a well-set strategy about how to keep their employees informed and engaged

Although we can develop certain communication skills, communication is more effective if it is spontaneous than when it follows certain formulas. The spoken word has a different echo of spontaneous spoken speech. 

Of course, it takes time and effort to develop these skills and become a successful speaker. The more effort and practice, the communication skills will be more spontaneous and more instinctive.

Top 5 Communication Skills 

There are dozens of different communication skills to possess, there are top 5 communication skills we will focus on in this blog. 

These 5 skills are absolutely necessary for successful communication in the workplace or private life. 

1. Listening

Listening is one of the most important aspects of communication. Successful listening is not just and understanding of spoken or written information, but also an understanding of how the speaker feels during communication.

If a speaker can see and feel that someone is listening and understanding that can help build a stronger, deeper relationship between interlocutors. Careful listening can also create an environment in which everyone feels safe to express ideas, opinions and feelings, or plan and solve problems in a creative way.

2. Straight talking

Conversation is the basis of communication, and one must not neglect its importance. Even a simple, friendly conversation with colleagues can build mutual trust and even detect problems before they become serious. A healthy dose of chatting with and unknown person can lead to a business opportunity. Be accessible and friendly  because then you will be able to talk to almost anyone.

3. Non-verbal communication

When we talk about things that matter to us then we send a lot of nonverbal messages. Nonverbal signals are wordless communication, body position, facial expression, hand movements, gestures, eye contact, attitude and tone of your voice, muscle tension and the way you/we breathe. The way you look, listen, create, react, gesture, speaks far more about feelings than words will ever be able to.

Why non-verbal communication skills are important?

Because, according to Salesforce’s research on interpersonal communication, 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. 

non verbal communication skills

Developing the ability to understand others and use nonverbal signals will help you connect with others, express what you think, meet challenging situations, and build better relationships at home and at work.

4. Stress management

In small quantities, stress can be very useful and encouraging for work. However, when the stress becomes constant and completely begins to take effect, it can affect communication, clarity of opinion, and appropriate behavior and action. When you are under stress you may misunderstand other people, send confusing nonverbal signals, and use funny patterns of behavior.

How often did you feel stressed during discussion with your friends or colleagues and then said or did something you regretted later? If you improve stress management skills, not only will you avoid these subsequent regrets, but you will also be able to influence the other person you are entering into a conflict.

5. Emotion control

In communication, feelings play an important role. Making decisions more often affects the way you feel than the way you think. Guided by emotions, your nonverbal behavior affects the understanding of other people and how others understand and perceive you. 

If you are not aware of your feelings you are guided, you will not be able to express your needs and experiences. This can result in frustration, misunderstanding and conflict.

Control of emotions provides you with tools to understand others, yourself and the messages you send. Though recognizing feelings makes it simple, many people have strong feeling like anger, sorrow, or fear being pushed under the carpet.

4 Ways to Improve Communication Skills

Communication experts have many advice on how to improve communication skills. Here, we have selected the 4 most productive ways to quickly and efficiently improve your communication skills. 

1. Listen with empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs of another person. Exactly this is the reason why organizations have started developing empathy in the workplace. Emotional acceptance, closely related to empathy, means that, after empathizing and understanding how other person feels, we can accept the reasons why somebody feels or thinks the way they do, regardless of whether we agree with it or not. 

Try to see things from others’ perspectives by accepting what you hear instead of trying to „fix things and solve the problem“.

2. Speak up

Communication begins with you. Take responsibility and start communication, do not wait and expect another person to do so and don't hide behind various forms of online communication. 

Good communication, especially on important topics, requires far more than what we can express in a written message. We often misunderstand this kind of communication because we do not see the person's face, its nonverbal communication, and in what circumstances communication starts.

3. Prepare

Think before you speak. Most of us work best when we have time to process our own thoughts before we share them. If the conversation or meeting is worth your precious time, take a few minutes to prepare the speech draft. 

For a very important conversation, try a mock-up conversation with a trusted person so you can get rid of any potential mistakes.

4. Be ready for different answers

As you formulate a speech strategy, put yourself in the position of a person who will listen to you. This will ensure balanced approach and you will be prepared to learn and defend potential disagreements and it will be easier for you to defend your standpoint.

No one can predict with certainty how other people will react. Improve chances of a successful conversation by expecting negative answers and queries. So it is harder for your listeners to catch you unprepared.

How to Improve Internal Communications

Improving internal communications is crucial for every company’s success. Employees who feel that they are not informed, feel left out. As the result, they start feeling less motivated, their engagement levels drop, and eventually, they leave.

Luckily, there are digital software solutions that companies use to improve employee relations and engagement as well as to encourage employee advocacy. 

Internal communication tools, such as Smarp, make digital workplace more productive

Employers across the world use Smarp, employee engagement and advocacy tool, to enhance employee satisfaction and engagement. As a result, they have not only employees who are engaged but employees who now act as advocates. 

Schedule a free Smarp demo today to find out how it can help you engage and retain Millennials. 

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Written by

Kristina Martic

Kristina Martic

Digital Marketing and Employer Branding

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