Every job description says, “Must Have Strong Communication Skills." But what does that mean? Before you proclaim that you are indeed, an outstanding communicator, consider this: Everyone THINKS they’re a great communicator, but the truth is, most of us have to work really hard at it. Employers use “communication skills” as a code phrase for other ambiguous things. If you want to nail your next interview (or cover letter), it's in your best interest to get to the bottom of what it means. Here are 6 qualities that are an important part of effective communication:
Good communicators recognize that the first step in having a strong relationship with anyone from a colleague to a client is listening to what is important to them.
Re-iterating and clarifying what a client (or your boss) said, and then summarizing the key points is a critical piece of effective communication. This helps to ensure that both parties are clear of objectives and goals moving forward. This will also prevent miscommunication and disappointment.
Listening, summarizing, and setting expectations help everyone understand what to look for next. Whether it’s a client who needs to know when to expect an answer to a question, or your co-worker who needs to know when she can expect your part of a project, setting expectations is a critical part of effective communication. Get on the same page.
Knowing how to take appropriate action to get the desired results is a big part of effective communication. Listening, summarizing, and setting expectations are great, but the goal in doing these things effectively is to get results.
A strong communicator doesn’t lose track of the details and staying organized is an important part of setting expectations and delivering results. Whether it’s taking notes, making a list, or keeping a strong eye on the objectives—the bottom line is, organization ensures goals are met and results are delivered.
Employers want to hire people who won’t “fall off the face of the earth” near the end of a project. Following up is an important part of closing the loop of communication. It’s not enough to meet objectives—a successful communicator circles back to ensure client satisfaction, answer questions, and ask for feedback.
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