Communication is one of the most important skills you will need in the workplace. No matter where you work or what field you work in, you’ll need to communicate with co-workers, customers, vendors, and your boss. But if communication isn’t your strong point, don’t worry. Here are 5 ways to improve your business communication skills:
1. Mind Your Grammar
You may be totally amped to get that lit assignment for the rad client, but don’t say it that way to your boss. We all use slang and improper grammar when we speak with friends or send personal emails or texts. But using it in the workplace makes you seem unprofessional. If you use slang with supervisors, it can even come across as disrespectful. You don’t have to be a grammar guru, but you should communicate properly and with manners at work.
2. Listen to Understand
There’s a saying that you should listen to understand, not just to reply. All too often, we listen to others just so we can get our own point across, but we fail to actually hear what the other person says. In the workplace, it’s important to listen to your boss, co-workers, and customers so you can understand what their needs are and how you can help fulfill them. It also makes others feel heard, which in turn, makes them feel valued.
3. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand something. There’s nothing wrong with admitting when you need help or clarification. The worst thing you could do is fumble your way through an assignment and end up making a costly mistake. You aren’t the first employee to ask questions and you certainly won’t be the last. When you ask a question, you may also be giving voice to those who don’t. It makes you appear interested and engaged and can encourage others to speak up, as well.
4. Take Mental Notes
Does your boss prefer afternoon meetings because he’s not a morning person? Does your co-worker have a daughter who’s the same age as your daughter? Do you know the names of your most frequent customers? Little details like these may not seem important, but they can make a big impact on your workplace communication. They can help you connect with others on a personal level, which can help you develop key, meaningful work relationships.
5. Use the Proper Mode of Communication
Do you need to fix an issue with a vendor? Give them a call. Do you need to discuss a problem with your boss? Schedule an in-person meeting. In the digital age, email is the most common means of communication in the workplace, but it’s not always the most appropriate. Serious conversations can be misunderstood and come across as tone-deaf through email or company instant messaging. To keep your communication clear, and to save time, use the proper mode for the situation at hand.
Are you ready to build a business career? You’ll need to have great business communication skills. At YTI Career Institute in York, PA, we offer a Business Administration - Business Operations Management program that can train you in budgeting and finance, retail operations, supply chain management, and more. As a student and YTI grad, you’ll also have access to our Career Services office, which can help you develop important skills you’ll need for the workplace—including business communication! Fill out the form now to request more information.