CPD tips - How to improve your communication skills in the workplace

CPD tips - How to improve your communication skills in the workplace

24 Apr 2023

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Effective communication is crucial to any organisations success. Good communication skills can help create a productive and efficient workplace where ideas are shared, problems are solved, and relationships are strengthened. In this CPD article, we will explore what communication skills are, why they are important, and provide tips on how to improve your communication skills in the workplace.

What are Communication Skills?

Communication skills refer to the ability to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings effectively to others. It involves the ability to listen actively, understand and interpret verbal and nonverbal cues, and respond appropriately. Communication skills are not just limited to verbal communication; they also include written, nonverbal, and visual communication. 

What is Miscommunication?

Miscommunication occurs when the intended message is not accurately conveyed to the recipient. This can happen for various reasons, such as a lack of clarity, using jargon or technical terms that the recipient may not understand, or not considering the recipient's perspective. Miscommunication can lead to confusion, errors, and misunderstandings that can affect productivity, relationships, and morale.

Why do people struggle with Communication?

In today’s fast-paced work environment, communicating effectively with your peers is more important than ever. However, there are many reasons why people may struggle to communicate effectively. Some of the most common reasons include:

Lack of clarity: Sometimes, individuals may have difficulty expressing themselves clearly and concisely, leading to misunderstandings. For example, a client may struggle to explain their needs to a designer resulting in the need for multiple revisions.

Cultural differences: Cultural differences in communication styles can cause confusion, as what is considered polite or appropriate in one culture may not be the same in another.

Emotional state: Emotions are a part of life, and even in business strong emotions, such as anger or anxiety, can interfere with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings or tension.

Technology: The increased use of technology in communication can lead to misinterpretation of tone or meaning – for example, emails, slack messages and other forms of electronic communications.

Learning how to communicate effectively

Is it difficult to develop good Communication Skills?

Improving your communication skills requires effort and practice. Communication skills can be learned and developed, and with consistent practice, you can become an effective communicator in the workplace. The best way to get started is to follow the CPD Cycle that will help you to identify your needs and enable you to plot a path of learning.

Why is it important to improve your Communications Skills?

Being able to communicate can lead to a lot of positives in your professional life and has become an increasingly important skill. Here are some key reasons why improving your communication skills can have a positive impact:

  • Improved relationships: Effective communication helps build stronger relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and clients.
  • Increased productivity: Clear and concise communication can help ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.
  • Better problem-solving: Effective communication can help identify and resolve issues and conflicts more quickly.
  • Improved career progression: Good communication skills give the confidence to share accomplishments, bring up pay-rises and pursue career objectives, improving overall career progression.

How can I develop my Communication Skills at work?

When you think ‘Communication’ you might just think about talking and writing emails – but there are actually lots of communication skills that you can improve, including verbal, written and non-verbal. Here are some tips to help you improve your communication skills at work:

1. Practice active listening: Active listening involves giving your full attention to the speaker, acknowledging what they are saying, and asking questions for clarification. It is ‘the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear’.

2. Consider the recipient: Think about who you are communicating with and adjust your communication style accordingly. For example, if you are communicating with someone who is not familiar with technical terms, use simpler language.

3. Use nonverbal communication: Nonverbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions, can help convey your message more effectively.

4. Seek feedback: Getting feedback is an important tool for Continuing Professional Development. Ask for feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or clients on your communication skills. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and work on them.

5. Manage emotions: Emotional intelligence is essential in effective communication. Learn to manage your emotions and express yourself in a calm and professional manner, even in challenging situations.

6. Build relationships: Building relationships with colleagues and clients can help improve communication. Take the time to get to know the people you work with and build trust and rapport.

Key tips to developing communication skills

7. Use humour: Appropriate and confident use of humour can help make communication more engaging and memorable. However, be mindful of cultural differences and avoid offensive or insensitive humour.

8. Be aware of cultural differences: Cultural differences in communication styles can lead to misunderstandings. This is especially true when working within international businesses, or global brands. Be sure to research cultural differences and adjust your communication style accordingly.

9. Practice public speaking: While many struggle with it, public speaking is an important aspect of communication in the workplace. There are times where you will be expected to present ideas, or potentially represent the business at industry events. Exposure is the best way to get over the fear. Practice public speaking to improve your confidence and delivery.

10. Practice assertiveness: Being assertive involves expressing your needs and opinions in a clear and direct manner without being aggressive. This is important to ensure that you aren’t overlooked and that your needs are taken seriously.

Effective communication skills are essential in the workplace and, with consistent practice, you can become a more effective communicator which can bring positive benefits to both your personal and professional life. We hope the information provided in this article can get you started and guide your Continuing Professional Development in communication.

Where to find CPD Communication Skills Courses

You can learn communication skills with a dedicated course from our CPD Certified Providers. This is one of the best ways to work on improving your communication skills as learning will have had prior review to recognised standards. There are a number of different communication courses that you can choose from within our CPD Courses Catalogue.

Read our previous related articles to further your written or verbal communication skills:

How to improve your speaking skills

What are writing skills and how do you improve them?

How to become an accredited CPD training provider

The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation, with over 25 years’ experience working across all industry sectors. If you are looking to provide training courses, workshops, eLearning or virtual events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please contact our team to discuss in more detail.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing learning, as well as store your professional training records and attendance certificates in one simple place, go to the myCPD Portal page.

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