As quoted by Aristotle “Man is a social animal”, which is true, human beings need to seek the company of others because we live by daily interaction with each other. However, to interact we would need communication thus making it a crucial part of our daily lives too. Communication is necessary in every aspect of our life, whether personal or professional; work or school; romantic or social, to ensure the smooth flow of our lives. But what exactly does communication mean and why is communication important in your professional life?
What is Communication? And what do you mean by Professional Communication?
The general definition of communication is the exchange of information from one medium to another with the scope of understanding it. There is no point in information exchange if the receiver does not understand it. Therefore communication should involve transfer as well as the understanding of the information.
Subsequently, communication in a professional setting also includes the basics of communication but in a workplace context while taking into account the jargon, boundaries, and ethics of the workplace. It includes everything from talking in person to writing an email to giving out a presentation during a meeting. The ability to communicate effectively in the workplace holds a lot of significance as it skillfully conveys the company’s needs as well as its resources to the recipient and can have them fulfilled. Hence contributing to the progress of the organization.
What is the Purpose of Communication in One’s Professional Life?
As mentioned before communication is used for the transfer and understanding of information. In a company, communication serves as a mode for the smooth flow of work. Basically, the purpose of communication is to influence, express, inform, imagine, and satisfy the requirements. It helps in sharing new ideas and thoughts, allocating work, developing relations (client-employee or employee-employee), encouraging teamwork, increasing productivity through feedback, etc.
It is equally important to learn more about the importance of communication in overall life and how it affects your standard of living, for this you can refer to our article 13 Reasons Why Communication Is Important In Life which comprehensively explains the significance of communication in every aspect of life.
Reasons Why Communication is Important for Professional Life
Having exceptional communication skills is much more than just having the ability to convey a message to others. An individual must be aware of their target audience, actively listen to them and know how to respond or communicate in turn making themselves more receptive, so that the target audience understands the message clearly and it is conveyed successfully. Effective communication has become an important skill that an employer expects to find in every candidate’s job application and rightly so there are various reasons to deem communication as an essential tool in professional life.
1. Desired Job
To start with one needs to have good communication skills in order to be seen by the prospective employer or the hiring manager. Following the application letter, the candidate needs to impress the hiring executive and stand out in their interview to get selected in the further rounds. Prospective candidate needs to efficiently communicate and convey why they need the job and how they are a perfect fit for the vacant role. Therefore, having better communication skills could possibly give them an added advantage over all the other candidates with inferior or lack of communication skills.
2. Customer Satisfaction
If you aspire to take a job in the sales and marketing department it is crucial to have effective communication skills to learn the needs of customers and be able to satisfy them effectively. Having good communication skills helps in creating strong bonds with the customer therefore also increasing customer loyalty. For example, a department of customer care that is trained to diffuse consumer conflict by having positive and reassuring communication with the customer can help in eliminating provisional conflicts and increase perpetual customer loyalty.
3. Eliminates Misunderstanding and Conflicts
Having good communication skills and voicing out one’s opinions and doubts using those in the workplace helps avoid misunderstandings and workplace conflicts between the staff. This enables each employee to understand their role in the work assigned and give productive results. Moreover, having communication that is transparent as well as honest fosters an adequate amount of trust among the staff along with boosting morale (as when having adequately communicated they understand the why of a decision and are likely to understand more and be furthermore motivated) and employee satisfaction.
4. Foster a Positive Environment
Good communication skills allow an employer to foster a positive environment in the workplace which results in the entire workforce working towards the progress of the company with a common goal in mind while lacking any misunderstanding or dissatisfaction. Furthermore, knowing how to communicate to a particular audience in a particular manner that is right for them helps the individual build a more cohesive workforce for their organization.
5. Ideas Exchange
Creating a communicative environment in the workplace as well as acquiring good communication skills both help in the exchange of ideas which can thus foster innovation and creativity that could help an organization stand out from its competitors because of its unique take on different aspects (coming from innovative ideas). Additionally, this also makes all the employees feel included in contributing to the progress of the company, hence elevating employee engagement as well as employee satisfaction.
6. Career Advancement Prospects
Exceptional communication skills can come in handy when conversing with the esteemed members of a company like the C-suite members (CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, etc.) or the board members. For instance, while talking to these executives one needs to explain the matters while being concise or to the point as they do not have a lot of time to address the issues. These skills not only build a good impression in front of these executives but may also aid in acquiring career advancement opportunities leading to success in the workplace through promotions.
Having good communication skills and using them adequately can help you seem approachable to your colleagues, employees as well as superiors. This is because they feel that you actively listen to them and communicate accordingly and are also open to new ideas. Therefore, a trust factor would be built, and they might communicate and confide in you more often thus making you look more approachable.
8. Turnover Reduction
Admirable communication skills can aid in reducing turnover both ways that is as an employer as well as an employee. As an employer when you communicate with your employees efficiently and encourage them to voice out their opinions and concerns, they feel heard and become honest with you ready to sort out any misunderstandings. This consequently increases their morale and satisfaction, avoiding the need to quit their job and hence reducing turnover (along with reduced costs of training new employees).
As an employee, the scene is quite similar, with adequate communication skills you can voice out your concerns whenever you think that you are not in accordance with a decision or have an issue with something. You are very aware of how to convey your point so that your superior understands the message. Additionally, your good communication skills help you to put forth your opinions effectively to make them heard allowing you to contribute to the organizational progress increasing your satisfaction while decreasing the need to quit.
9. Team Player
Communication is one of the contributive skills to make an individual a team player. They help a person work with other team members more efficiently. Through communication, one can tactfully share their thoughts and ideas with the group and get along while also listening to others’ ideas. This subsequently enables the frictionless functioning of a team in addition to improved productivity and improved professional relations with your coworkers.
10. Successful Workplace Changes
If the employer needs to take decisions to make changes in the workplace, having sufficient communication prior to bringing the change helps. Receiving staff reviews on changes to be made makes them acquire more information (even the information quality increases) as compared to before. This also helps the employer decide the success rate of their change and what modifications they need to take to make their decision of change more successful.
Keys to Effective Communication Skills
According to research by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, eighty-eight percent of hiring managers choose prospective candidates with greater communication skills are chosen over candidates with weaker communication skills. Hence, it is of utmost importance to acquire soft skills like good communication in the work field. But how can one ensure that their communication skills are exceptional? Several organizations, websites, and individuals tend to establish this through the 7 Cs of communication. These are used to verify that the message that an individual conveys is successfully understood by others and is generating the expected influence. The 7 Cs include
One of the most important aspects of communication is to make your message as well as its objective clear to the target audience.
Secondly, it is important to keep the message that you want to convey as concise as possible especially when talking to authorities who have less time to spare (C-suite ones). This way you can communicate effectively while also putting out your opinion and being heard.
Unverified information not only leads to a breach of trust but could also leave a permanent bad remark on one’s professional image. Therefore it is important to first verify if the information is factually (as well as grammatically) accurate before presenting it to the organization.
Incomplete information is as dangerous as (or even more) unverified information. There is no point in putting across incomplete information which could further lead to misunderstandings and have ramifications hindering the company’s progress.
It is always an added etiquette to appreciate and thank your audience for taking out time to listen, understand and communicate with you. This shows that you value them and respect the treasured time that they gave to you.
You should back the message you convey with facts and also look confident while doing so. Moreover, the message should be specific rather than vague.
Last but not least, your communication should be coherent which means that your message should make sense and have a logical structure to it. Additionally, do not forget to have a consistent tone, language, pitch, etc.
Essentially, all of the above-mentioned techniques work with the verbal as well as the written mode of communication.
To further polish your communication skills with the help of a tutor/supervisor you can take online courses which you can access from the comfort of your home. We here at Frantically Speaking provide such courses too, known as Frantically Speaking coaching sessions that improve your various other skills like public speaking, interviews, presentation skills, group discussions, negotiation and persuasion skills, etc. along with acing your communication skills game. Click here to know more about the Frantically Speaking training program.
Encouraging Communication at the Workplace
It is as important to encourage adequate communication at the workplace as it is to have communication skills. As an employer or senior working staff, some of the techniques that one can use to encourage communication from the employees include:
Creating an Open Door Policy
This doesn’t literally mean having an open door for the employees 24×7 but rather creating a trusting and safe space for them where they can voice their concerns and doubts comfortably without thinking twice. In order to make this work (along with informing them about this idea) the employer could have informal talks with them during lunch breaks, have bonding sessions or plan non-work trips with their employees, or even open up about their personal life. All these efforts could help the employees get comfortable and communicate freely with their employers and create a supportive work environment.
While providing constructive feedback for the employees in order to increase their work efficiency, employers could also create a platform where the employees could give their general feedback about the work environment and the employer. This could help the employer to make appropriate changes to the work environment as well as their own working style to ensure the smooth operation of the organization.
The Last 15-Minute Rule
In order to increase employee engagement in the organization the meeting executive could devote the last 15 minutes of the meeting to hear about the ideas and opinions of the employee regarding projects discussed in the meeting. Through this approach, one could get innovative ideas and feedback to improve the efficacy of a project and make it stand out.
Lastly, to ascertain that all the ways mentioned above work, one needs to first actively listen to others. No effective communication can take place without active listening. Be it employer, manager, or senior executive; all of them need to attentively listen to their employees to make them comfortable, work on their concerns and opinions, and create a communicative environment.
To know more about the importance of effective communication at the workplace you can refer to our article 10 Reasons Why Effective Communication Is Essential In The Workplace, which talks about effective and ineffective communication along with presenting scenarios of ineffective communication and giving solutions to overcome that.
Communication is as important in an individual’s professional life as it is in their personal life. It is the key to butter flow functioning of an organization while also helping an individual excel in their career. Spending time and money to improve one’s communication skills will always be an investment. Be it dissolving workplace conflicts, fostering a positive workspace, improving customer satisfaction, or elevating career advancement prospects, communication will consistently empower individuals to express themselves and convey their message clearly, listen mindfully, and make an impact in their audience’s mind effortlessly. Therefore the communication importance in a person’s professional life cannot be stated enough!