Communication Skills - More Than Talking The Talk

By Dani Johnson: 

You've probably heard the saying "communication is key." And nothing more true has been said! Effective communication is absolutely essential to every relationship in your life, whether it's in business, at work, or in your family. Right now, let's focus on just one of these areas: Communication in the workplace.

If you work with other people, there's a good chance you have experienced both good and bad communication. The benefits of great communication are endless. Good, clear and honoring communication allows you to get more done in less time, and it helps to cultivate a culture of respect.

On the other hand, poor communication leads to stress, frustration, misunderstandings, dishonor, and it impacts the company's bottom line (which, in turn, kills your earning potential).

There are different aspects of communication often forgotten in our day-to-day lives. While some people may think they are great communicators, it's probable they are missing something. Why? Because great communication skills are simply not taught in most places. So as you read through these steps, don't think, "Oh, I never have that problem," or "I'm a great communicator!" The truth is, there is always room for improvement! And as your communication skills increase, so will your income! That is a fact. So look for ways you can improve your communication today. Ask yourself, "Where am I falling short in this area?"

  • Tone of voice: We all know, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." Your tone of voice can communicate either honor or disrespect. It can communicate confidence or fear. Sometimes, we don't even realize the way we speak to others. So today, really pay attention to how you speak and respond to others. Are you honoring your superiors? Are you honoring those who are "below you" in the company?
  • Nonverbal communication: Too many people don't even know 93% of communication is nonverbal. If you are sitting back with your arms crossed, not smiling, your body says, "I'm not interested in what you have to say. I don't want to be here. I don't want to listen to you." If you are smiling, sitting forward and getting involved in the conversation, it promotes good communication. The other person is more receptive, and it really pulls you into the conversation.
  • Clarify: Don't assume you understand exactly what someone means. The phrase, "So what I hear you saying is... " will help you make sure you understand what they are saying. It causes you to listen carefully because you are essentially recapping the conversation. If you don't understand something, simply say, "Can you clarify that for me?" or "What do you mean by that?"
  • Follow up: ALWAYS follow up! Follow up is a key part of communication that, unfortunately, many people never do. But it's as simple as sending an email following a conversation. This includes giving updates on your progress on projects or assignments you're working on. When you follow up with your boss, managers and coworkers, it keeps everyone in the loop and keeps them updated on the progress. And it eliminates the need for them to track you down to find out where you are or what you're doing. When the lines of communication are open within a team, productivity soars and it becomes a harmonious work environment.

Here's the thing: Communication is one of the most important skills you use every single day. But when you have poor communication skills, your success is very limited. However, when you constantly focus on improving this particular skill set, your success will continue to grow.

So again, take a few minutes to look for ways you can improve these four areas of communication at work today. Your bank account will thank you later!

Dani Johnson was raised on welfare, pregnant at 17, homeless at 21, millionaire by 23. Now a best-selling author, international speaker, TV/radio host, she has appeared on hundreds of shows like Oprah and Secret Millionaire. She and her husband Hans proudly parent 5 children, 7 grandkids, run 5 companies and support various charitable causes, such as providing for thousands of orphans monthly.

Date Posted: 
17 Jan 2015 - 9:15am