Written Communication

With written communication, make sure that what you write will be perceived the way you intend. Words on a page generally have no emotion they don’t “smile” or “frown” at you while you’re reading them (unless you’re a very talented writer, of course!)

When writing, take time to do the following:

  • Review your style.
  • Avoid jargon or slang.
  • Check your grammar and punctuation.
  • Check also for tone, attitude, nuance, and other subtleties. If you think the message may be misunderstood, it probably will. Take the time to clarify it!

Familiarize yourself with the basic writing policies.

Plan your communication

Before you start communicating, take a moment to figure out what you want to say, and why. Don’t waste your time conveying information that isn’t necessary and don’t waste the time of the listeners or readers. Too often, people just keep talking or keep writing because they think that by saying more, they’ll surely cover all the points. Often, however, all they do is confuse the people they’re talking to.

Before you communicate:

  • Understand your objective. Why are you communicating?
  • Understand your audience. With whom are you communicating? What do they need to know?
  • Plan what you want to say, and how you’ll send the message.
  • Seek feedback on how well your message was received.
  • When you do this, you’ll be able to craft a message that will be received positively by your audience.

Good communicators use the KISS (“Keep It Simple and Straightforward”) principle. They know that less is often more, and that good communication should be efficient as well as effective.

How Good Are Your Communication Skills?

Communication skills are some of the most important skills that you need to succeed in the workplace. We talk to people face to face, and we listen when people talk to us. We write emails and reports, and we read the documents that are sent to us. Communication, therefore, is a process that involves at least two people a sender and a receiver. For it to be successful, the receiver must understand the message in the way that the sender intended. This sounds quite simple. But have you ever been in a situation where this hasn’t happened? Misunderstanding and confusion often occur, and they can cause enormous problems. If you want to be an expert communicator, you need to be effective at all points in the communication process and you must be comfortable with the different channels of communication. When you communicate well, you can be very successful. On the other hand, poor communicators struggle to develop their careers beyond a certain point.

The Importance of Communication Skills

Communicating the intended message clearly and effectively is an important skill, which is often a key factor in deciding the chances of success. Communication is the process of transforming information from one entity to another; but communication skills are a set of important attributes that highlight one’s personality. You need to focus diligently on your communication skills to convey your ideas better. Communication skills can be broadly categorized as follows:

  1. Written Communication Irrespective of whether it is a verbal or a written communication, it needs to be precise and lucid. As a thumb rule, avoid using jargons just for the sake of adding weight to your message, which cannot be understood by the readers. Short sentences pack more power as they are easier to read and understand, but they should be correct, clear, consistent, and concrete. Maintain a certain degree of subtlety in your approach. Simply using words from the dictionary doesn’t mean that you have a good vocabulary. You cannot expect people to run through a dictionary every time they come across some new word. Rather, if you provide enough choices and variety in your language that would make the reading and listening experience of your audience more comfortable and enjoyable. Without this, writing might be a big turnoff to most readers.
  2. Verbal Communication While communicating verbally, you need to speak out your point succinctly and clearly, paying careful attention to your pitch. Modulate your tone within the context of the topic. Ensure that you do not ramble or recite your points, as it may seem very unimpressive, which might also project you as unintelligent. You should be well aware and thorough about the subject you are speaking on and should be able to justify your points with logic, facts and figures. Make sure that you are speaking effortlessly, preferably at a slow pace and not just uttering what you have memorized.
  3. Listening Skills – Good communicators know the importance of listening. They will tell you that listening is more important than even speaking. While in a conversation, if you do not listen carefully to what others are speaking, it will appear as if you are simply trying to put your point of view only and trying to dominate others, which might project you as very arrogant. This at times may prove a pitfall for you. Resist distractions and encourage the speaker. A good listener has the power to create a good audience, so try to maximize your audience and pay regard to what they say.

Improving your communication skills is an art that comes with regular practice. As proven, practice makes a man perfect, start with a noble intention and keep practicing dedicatedly till you reach perfection. No matter how intelligent you are, your communication skill is the only attribute that will help you to convince your target audience. So, make wise use of your words skillfully and make sure to establish your point politely.

Remember, the art of communication is the language of leadership.