Good communication skills come handy in pretty much every job you can think of. This skill is highly important to a person in both their personal and professional lives, it can take time to master, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Not everyone starts out as great communicators but taking the time to learn and observe others can help you become better yourself. You don’t have to be a certain type of person or have a specific personality type, but over time, it’s something that you can really work on. When looking for a job, it’s one of the most important skills you can have. You need to be able to let employers know what you are looking for and that you are the right fit for them. Not only can it help you land an interview, but you need to be confident in yourself in order to have a good interview process. Once again, this takes time but the more practice you get the better you will become. If you’re someone who is looking to improve this skill, we have some tips and advice in this article for you.
Adapting to new situations
Being able to hold a good conversation with someone is one thing but being able to read a situation and adapt is a whole new skill in itself. Good communicators are able to read people’s body language and facial expressions to know where to take the conversation next. Go with the conversation and don’t try and force anything upon the person you are talking to. Being able to handle a change in topic and still sound in control of your situation is very important. This is key in job interviews when the interviewer may spring an unexpected question upon you, stay calm and think before you speak.
A conversation involves two people
You may be very good at talking, but a conversation includes two people and you should let them speak as well. Speaking well is only one part of good communication, you need to listen to what the other person has to say and actually take in what they are saying. Make sure they know you are listening and are interested in what they have to say. If you feel like you are the one doing all the talking in a job interview, why not ask them a question? Show you are really interested in finding out more about the job and the company.
Use the correct tone and language
You need to know the tone of voice you are using and keep it consistent throughout. Your tone often clarifies and conveys a meaning that you may not even notice some of the time. When you get over emotional about a situation, words can be interpreted in ways you may not have meant. For example, a phrase as simple as “I don’t know” can be interpreted in a number of ways depending on how your tone was taken by the other individual. Not only can things come across as rude without that being your intention, but your body language says a lot as well. You can tell a lot about how a person is feeling by the way they are sitting or the hand gestures they are using. Try and stay in control of this.
Listening is just as important as speaking
Listening is a whole new skill in itself, but it’s something good communicators do very well. They are able to read the situation and know whether it is the right time to talk or listen. The ability to listen actively can be tricky to get right because it depends on who you’re talking to and what the other factors are (your environment, relationship etc.)
You’re an active listener if you can do the following:
- You spend more time listening in a conversation than you do talking (this applies if you’re being spoken to rather than speaking to someone about something specific).
- You don’t interrupt the other person/people (this is sort of a given, but a lot of people interrupt without even knowing it).
- Your body language indicates that you’re genuinely listening (making eye contact, smiling and nodding, not fidgeting etc.)
- You can remember details from the discussion in question.
- You ask questions so you can understand the topic of discussion better.
It’s best not to jump to conclusions
Sometimes things get said or heard without any proper context. This is where tone of voice, again, is very important when having a conversation. Most of the time, questions will be raised, and any misunderstandings can be easily resolved. On the other hand, people will also sometimes go on what they’ve heard without any further knowledge. If you think, there’s more to a situation you should always ask for more clarification on the subject. Don’t appear to ignorant if you can avoid it.
Being a good communicator sounds easier than it actually is. You may think that you are good at communicating during a job interview, or even at work. But there are always things you can improve on. For some people, good communication doesn’t come easy and may take some time to get used to talking to new people. Not only that, but the listening part of communicating can be difficult for some. We can all do more to ensure that we are developing this skill and talking appropriately to the people around us.