There are many ways to improve communication skills and become an effective communicator. Effective communication abilities are used to efficiently and coherently transfer information and knowledge between individuals, and the improvement of these skills is a rewarding endeavor for anyone seeking personal and professional development. Of course the type and context of the communication, and the level of improvement required, dictates which development training and tools are available to an individual.
There are well-designed and functional paid training programs available to individuals who are looking to develop effective communication skills. Of course there are many websites and organizations that offer free insights in to how to improve communication capabilities, however this is a less-effective approach to skill development. The following article will focus on examples of communication skills training and improvement in the workplace, and how some organizations attempt to foster positive interaction between their employees.
There are various privately offered workplace communication skills training seminars, courses, and workshops. These can be offered in several formats, and how they are offered depends on the size and approach of the organization. In some cases organizations will offer in-house communication training, conducted by an internal human resources team. In other organizations in-house training is conducted by external communication consultants. Some organizations send their employees to off-site communication skills improvement workshops and seminars, and these are typically provided by professional communication experts. There is, of course, considerable expense associated with external communication resources such as consultants and seminars, however, these could be considered worthwhile investments as opposed to expenses.
Another approach organizations can take when showing employees how to improve communication skills is to produce a communication booklet or handout that is provided to every member of the organization. This booklet can be developed internally or be organized with input from external communication experts. Of course the major hurdle with any communication handbook distribution is ensuring that all organization stakeholders read the literature and ‘buy-in’ to what the organization is seeking to achieve.
The organization must design definitions of effective communication as it relates to their organizational culture and the industry they operate it. These definitions must be disseminated to the entire organization and senior management should lead by example in their adoption. Quality workplace training programs provide applicable examples that the workforce can understand and relate to. This includes examples of effective emails, inter-departmental forms, constructive criticism, and how to ask questions.
An incredibly important point in workplace communication skills is emphasizing that receiving a message effectively is as important as sending one. Colleagues should always practice active listening, and management should emphasize this point. Workplace communication skills training should also emphasize that asking clarifying questions is acceptable, which should reduce counter-productive misunderstandings.
The development of effective communication skills in the workplace will result in a more positive office environment, and increased efficiency and productivity. Furthermore, employees will find that the skills learned throughout these processes can readily be applied at home when interacting with loved ones and friends.