improve communication

Improve Communication Skills & Increase Results

September 5, 2016   Chris Bibey   General

When it comes to workplace communication, some people are advanced while others wonder what they can do to improve.

Fortunately, communication skills are something you can learn. Just because you have struggled in this area in the past does not mean you have to continue down this path in the future.

Instead, you need to do two things:

  • Learn more about the weak communication points that have been slowing you down.
  • Devise a strategy for improving your communication skills.

As challenging as this sounds, there are steps you can take today to get on track. There’s no point in waiting around any longer, hoping that things get better on their own. Instead, you need to take the initiative.

Consider these Statistics

Are you under the impression that team communication is unimportant? Do you believe this is something that your company can improve upon, you included?

Regardless of where you stand or what you’ve thought in the past, these statistics can help you better understand areas in which you can improve.

According to Queens University of Charlotte, “39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough.”

Although this isn’t the largest percentage of people, it goes to show that there are quite a few who feel that business communication within their company is not what it could be.

A Salesforce study turned up another interesting statistic:

86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.”

This is a huge number that proves the importance of effective workplace communication. Without this, the end result is often a workplace failure – and that’s not something that anybody wants to think about.

5 Steps to Improve

The first step in improving communication skills is taking the time to realize there is a problem. Without this, no progress can be made. From there, making the right moves at the right time is what matters most.

Here are the five steps anybody can take to improve communication skills, increase results, and end up in a better place.

  1. Identify the Problem

Just the same as anything else, you need to identify the issue before it can be fixed. For example, you may find that written communication skills need the most attention. Subsequently, another person may find that they need to improve in the area of verbal skills.

It’s not as simple as it sounds to identify the problem at hand, as there is a lot that goes into this. But even if it takes many hours of breaking down the past, the data you collect will help you as you move forward in search of a solution.

  1. Work with Others

Do you find it difficult to pinpoint your own shortcomings? If so, you aren’t alone. It can be a challenge to look within and see what you need to fix.

This is why you need to work with others. While they can help you in regards to your communication skills, you can do the same for them.

It may take a few hours of bouncing ideas back and forth, but once you and your coworkers are on the same page everything will begin to come together. Soon enough, you’ll have a clear idea of which communication skills to address.

  1. List Possible Solutions

It’s good to pinpoint what you need to fix. This is something you have to do if you are going to make any real progress in the future. But remember this: you have to implement a solution that you are comfortable with. Until you do this, you’ll never find yourself on the right track.

The best thing you can do is list out all possible solutions to your problem. For example, you may realize that you are not communicating as efficiently as you would like via email. What’s the answer to this problem?

Well, you could consider everything from an instant messaging application to more phone calls and face to face meetings.

The key to success with this step is to keep an open mind. There’s no point in shutting out any idea until you give it your full and undivided attention. You never know when you’ll come across a potential solution that is perfect for you.

  1. Implement

As you review the list of solutions, it’s time to pay attention to the ones that make the most sense for somebody in your shoes. Don’t weigh yourself down by trying to make too many changes at the same time.

Take for example a list of 10 possible solutions. Review the list in great detail with the idea that you’ll eventually choose the two that make the most sense.

Once you know which ones to implement it’s time to get started. At this point, you should be “full steam ahead” to ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance of success.

  1. Track Your Progress

It is your hopes that every solution you implement will yield positive results. But do you know for sure that this will happen? Of course not.

It’s essential that you track your progress, day in and day out, to ensure that you are moving in the right direction. If you don’t do this, you could find yourself wasting a lot of time and money – something you don’t ever want to experience.

The way you track your progress depends largely on the changes you have made and the type of goals you have set. As long as you have a system in place, everything else will come together.

Conclusion

When it comes to your business communication skills, it’s likely that you want to make some changes.

By following the five steps above, you’ll soon realize that you are closer than ever to improving in this area.

It’s never easy to admit that you need to adjust the way you communicate, but being honest with yourself is the first step in making this happen.

What are your thoughts on your communication skills? Do you have a plan to increase results?