“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw.CommFotolia_38680514_S-570x353

One of the leading causes of work issues can be traced back to a single breakdown in communication at some point in time. Good communication skills are vital today in the workplace. If you know you lack good communication skills, now is the time to build your communication skills before you encounter work-related problems and frustrations. The good news is communication skills can easily be attained with a few simple practices.

Speak Clearly and Concisely

Chances are your boss and colleagues don’t have the time to sift through your mumbling to articulate what you are saying. Take the time to organize your thoughts before you communicate; your coworkers will thank you for it.

Observe Others

Observe the culture of the workplace. Communication styles differ between companies. If you are new at a job, make sure you are aware of how people communicate. You don’t have to necessarily mimic the style but knowing the culture of a company will help you incorporate your own interpersonal style into the company culture.

Be Aware of Body Language

Body language is a powerful form of communication. You can say one thing and have your body language convey the exact opposite message. When speaking to a colleague, be aware of your hand movements. Many people tend to fidget with something while speaking; distracting the person you are engaged in conversation with. Be aware of your posture, sitting or standing straight conveys a message with confidence.

Keep your tone under control

You may feel like yelling at the top of your lungs (and may have a valid reason to feel like this) but raising your voice is not an appropriate method to convey your message. If you feel like you are going to lose your temper and raise your voice, it is best to immediately remove yourself from the situation, taking time to gather your thoughts and calm down.

Listen

It sounds simple, yet so many of us struggle to be active listeners. Remove distractions around you when you are speaking to someone. It is disrespectful to the other party when you are checking your phone as they are trying to speak to you. If you don’t listen the first time, chances are you’re going to have to get them to repeat what they said to you, wasting their time and yours.