7 Tips for Improving Communication Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 17, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated May 17, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

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Communication skills are a vital asset to every professional, whether you’re working on-site or meeting via video calls. In this article, you’ll learn the importance of communication skills and how to improve your own, at work and at home

Why are communication skills important?

Communication skills affect how we get along with our coworkers, friends and family. Below are some reasons why it's important to have strong communication skills:

Essential in the workplace

Communication is an essential skill in the workplace because it’s the starting point not only for relationships with colleagues but also in establishing work goals and expectations. A simple misunderstanding can be the reason you miss a deadline or omit an important task from a shared project.

High-demand skills

Strong verbal and written communication skills are always in demand in the marketplace. A good communicator is easier to work with, a valuable team player and less likely to drop the ball on big projects.

Career prospects

Being able to participate with skill in all forms of communication—verbal, written, non-verbal and visual—is important to getting a job and advancing in your career.

Related: 4 Types of Communication

How to improve communication skills

Improve your communication skills by following the steps below:

1. Record yourself communicating

Whether working on a group project, giving a speech or simply just speaking with others, record a few communications and evaluate opportunities for improvement. Discovering where you can improve is a good first step to establishing a baseline for skill development.

2. Improve your listening skills

To have a successful conversation with someone, you need to be able to listen and respond as well as speak. Active listening is a technique where you use verbal and non-verbal communication techniques to become a better listener. Perfecting your active listening skills helps you improve overall communication with others.

3. Learn to manage your emotions

Good communicators build skills that help them control their reactions and react appropriately. Learning how to communicate with others means learning more about yourself and your own emotional development.

4. Improve your nonverbal communication

Non-verbal communication is important in order to understand what you and other people might be conveying beyond words. Pay attention to someone’s body language and facial expressions and listen to their tone. What they are saying and what they are doing could be conveying different things. Eye contact is also an important part of non-verbal communication. Doing something as simple as making eye contact while speaking and listening can help improve your communication skills.

5. Prioritize soft skill development

Developing soft skills—such as empathy, adaptability, teamwork and open-mindedness—can directly improve your communication skills. When you focus specifically on improving these skills, you’ll see a sharp improvement in your overall ability to communicate with colleagues, family and friends.

6. Be receptive to feedback

When speaking, pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal feedback. For example, consider if people are nodding their heads in agreement or looking confused, and respond accordingly.

7. Communicate clearly and regularly

With both verbal and written communication, it’s important to make sure you’re staying on topic and giving your audience all the relevant information they need to understand. This is especially true with technical subjects or complex issues.

It’s also important to communicate regularly with your intended audience. For example, send reminder emails to colleagues about upcoming meetings to ensure they know when it is and to set time aside.

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