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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Communication is an essential part of any successful business. In order to compete fully within your own specific market sector, it is vital that you are able to communicate effectively with everyone you come into contact with in your working life.

It’s also essential to understand that the art of clear communication can and should be applied to the various ways we have of communicating with our colleagues and clients. For example, a specific set of skills will be required if we are talking with someone face to face, as body language will be added into the equation. But if we are sending an email, we have to rely on the words we use to communicate effectively with the person we are sending it to.

Talking to someone on the phone is another type of communication that requires some practice before we learn to do it effectively – indeed clear communication isn’t just a case of knowing what words to use to convey your ideas clearly, it also depends on how those words are used and in what physical context.

As part of the communication process, the ability to ask quality “open creative questions” and to listen empathetically will be a key ingredient of success. Indeed the first step in understanding others through communication lies in the “the one who asks questions leads the conversation” rule.

Clear communication also relies on your ability to think clearly, because without having a clear cut idea of what you want to achieve, you cannot convey what needs to be done to others. This will also have a knock-on effect to how other people perceive you – and this applies to everyone you work with, whatever their level in the organisation, as well as customers, suppliers and so on.

If you have ever worked with or for someone who sends mixed messages with their communication you’ll know how counter-productive it can be.

And if you are looking for the possibility of promotion (whether now or in the future) you should know that possessing and using clear communication skills will be a big factor in how well you could perform a more senior job role. To this end it can be well worth investing in a course on communication, whether it is financed by your company or done in your spare time. Either way, it will be positively perceived as an addition to your list of achievements.

Another key aspect of clear communication is directness. We can sometimes be nervous of asking for something that we want, but in reality we are much more likely to get it and avoid confusion if we state our needs clearly and simply. And our ability to say a considered “no” clearly confidently when appropriate will also create a positive impression of us as a leader.

Clear communication is a gradual process that is honed and improved upon with practice. But many of the results it brings can be seen immediately in many cases, making it easier to progress still further with our skills and our careers.

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