The University of business, practice and the professions
As social beings, we communicate with each other all of the time for all sorts of reasons in all sorts of ways. Some of us are more confident than others about our interpersonal skills. In work settings, there are different forms of communication that are appropriate at different times, and it’s valuable to understand them and reflect on whether our communication is having the desired effect.
We have divided activities that can help you develop communication into three distinct areas: written communication, active listening and public speaking.
• Written Communication – mostly electronic these days, it is important to be able to express yourself succinctly and clearly, but you also need to be able to persuade others through your writing. Examples include emails to clients; internal emails; documents for colleagues and senior staff, writing for social media and communicating change.
• Active Listening – often undervalued, it is of critical importance to really hear what people are saying. This skill is essential for any kind of development towards managerial positions.
• Public Speaking – does not have to be in a lecture theatre in front of 100s of people, it might mean sharing a good idea at a team meeting, or approaching someone you’ve not met before at a networking event.
The good thing about communication is that it is always something that you can get better at, nobody is a perfect communicator 100% of the time, in every medium.