When employers are looking for new employees, good communication skills is often one of the most important things they look for. Having good communication skills is vital for success in the workplace, whether it’s in dealing with customers or vendors outside of the company, or supervisors and coworkers within the company.
Communication is defined as the exchange of thoughts, opinions, and information through speech, writing, or signs. Effective communication occurs when two or more people are able to share thoughts, ideas or opinions and perceive the same message. Whether they have a disability or not, good employees need to have good communication skills. People who are good communicators work well with others, are able to understand their coworkers and have their coworkers understand them, and are able to clear up uncertainties in job requirements or responsibilities, all of which enables them to be more effective in their jobs.
The two main types of communication are nonverbal and verbal, and each is important when communicating with others. While a disability may make some of the following forms of communication difficult or even impossible for some people, it is important to be aware of them and utilize whatever forms work best for you.
Some forms of nonverbal communication include eye contact, posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures or signing. Eye contact shows that you are listening and are interested in the conversation. It also portrays that you are being honest. Having good posture shows that you are confident and alert. Facial expressions help you communicate as well. Frowning, raising your eyebrows, nodding your head and smiling all help portray the message you are trying to send.
Verbal communication is also important in the workplace. When having a discussion or listening to someone speak, it’s important to keep these tips in mind:
· Speak clearly and annunciate.
· Add to the conversation, but don’t dominate it. Let everyone have a chance to share their ideas and opinions.
· Don’t speak too quickly.
· Make eye contact with the speaker. This shows that you are interested in what they have to say.
· Don’t interrupt. Wait until the speaker has finished before taking your turn to talk.
· Speak calmly even if you are upset.
· If you are having an informal discussion, don’t do it in an open area where it may interfere with others’ work.
Whatever your method of communicating in the workplace, the most important thing is to remain professional. Respect your coworkers and listen to their thoughts and ideas. Give everyone a chance to speak and don’t take part in workplace gossip. And use the tips above to make sure that you are successful in communicating your own thoughts and ideas and in clarifying any issues that could keep you from performing your job to the best of your ability. Being a good listener and getting your thoughts and ideas across honestly and effectively, in the best way you are able, will make you a good communicator.
The good news is that there is always room for improvement when it comes to communication skills. The more you practice by interacting with others, the better you will be. In addition, you will be better able to tell when you are getting your ideas across effectively, and how to improve if you are not. The better you are at communicating, the easier it will be to do your job and work with others- making the workplace more enjoyable, and making you a more successful employee.