Over the last decade, with the introduction of social networking sites and work collaboration apps like Slack and with the steady rise of email marketing and communication, the digital world has changed the way we communicate in both our personal and professional lives. However, now more than ever, communication skills are vitally needed to achieve success in the workplace.
Basic interpersonal communication skills may seem like a lost art in a world dominated by digital technology. Nevertheless, they are still essential for those of you wanting to stand out above the crowd and grow professionally. Whether you own your own business or are an employee highly motivated to reach for new heights, here are some helpful tips to cultivate healthy communication skills in your tech-savvy workplace.
The art of the effective email
Email is a highly effective communication tool used within the workplace. However, whether you’re emailing another co-worker or sending a marketing email to your customers, there’s an art to standing out when your recipients are receiving hundreds of messages every day. Emails need to say more with fewer words and inspire action when appropriate. It’s also important to know your audience as some recipients like friendly greetings and smiling emojis, while others prefer to keep interactions brief. If you find yourself floundering in this area, look for webinars on the topic or sign up for educational newsletters on crafting effective emails.
Communication that demands attention
Now more than ever, people across all industries face information overload. Phone calls, emails, webinars, social media posts, and websites all compete for our limited attention spans. One of the most valuable communication skills in the digital age is the ability to convey need-to-know information clearly and concisely. Knowing how to write briefs, memos, and executive summaries will make you a valuable asset to your team.
Public speaking that engages your audience
Public speaking in the digital age is about tailoring your presentation style to the medium. Whether you’re presenting your ideas in person, over the phone, or in a video conference, being able to communicate effectively and coherently while engaging your listeners is key. If public speaking isn’t one of your favourite things to do, take the time to practice on your own. Read through your presentation multiple times, so it’s fresh in your mind and fluidly rehearsed. Also, be sure to research any possible follow-up questions your audience might ask so that you can answer both knowledgeably and without hesitation. Thorough preparation will help alleviate stress, giving you confidence and peace of mind.
Navigating digital communication tools
Digital communication tools within the workplace are becoming increasingly popular. With apps like Slack and Teamwork Chat, a whole new realm of office protocol needs to be addressed. On the positive side, the open exchange between co-workers allows them to transmit and receive information as quickly as possible, stimulating productivity and cross-team communication. Additionally, for a project that involves multiple teams or people working remotely, these apps help connect employees, provide progress updates, and facilitate collaboration. They also provide a designated platform for workplace communication without the distractions of Facebook Messenger or Google Chat, allowing for greater office efficiency.
The important thing to remember is that your online work platform is first and foremost a professional space designed to facilitate efficient and effective communication about all things business. Spamming your co-workers with GIFs, random memes, and irrelevant conversation is a sure way to cause problems and irritate your teammates. Be sure to keep your messages short, sweet, and professional!
Knowing how to communicate in a positive, professional, and constructive way is one of the most important job skills you can develop. Employers value people who work well as part of a team and who can talk respectfully to customers and clients, especially when problems and complaints arise. The key to becoming an effective communicator is finding the balance and using the appropriate form of communication for each specific situation. By taking the time to cultivate this essential skill and to master the art of communication, you will be positioning yourself for greater success.
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- Building Healthy Communication Skills in a Tech-Savvy World - March 13, 2019