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.