Whether you’re applying for temporary jobs in London and need communication skills to navigate different workplaces and expectations, or you’re already in a communication-heavy role, keeping your communication skills sharp is always important. As a London recruitment agency, we know that such skills are vital for candidates attending interview, as well as for those who want to see career success. But how do you improve your communication skills?
Communicate with yourself first
What many people don’t realise is that before you can improve your communication skills, you need to identify what communication hurdles you face. There are many different types of communication and each one is rife with pitfalls. If you can identify where you’re struggling, you can take steps to make solid improvements in those areas.
Some examples include:
- Finding it harder to communicate clearly when you’re feeling stressed or emotional
- Struggling to focus on the other party because you’re distracted or multi-tasking
- Giving off the wrong signals through unintentional or negative body language
- Not being confident in your use of spelling, grammar, and punctuation
See communication as its own task
All too often, we see communication as a necessary evil or a by-product of another task — e.g. you have to tell your boss x, y, z so that they know what’s happening. As a result, communication isn’t given the undivided attention it deserves. To communicate well, you need to make the act of communicating a priority beyond the content of the communication itself.
In practice, this means stopping and thinking before every act of communication. Rather than unconsciously zipping out an email or attending a web meeting without preparation, take the time to slow down and consider how you can communicate effectively.
Simplify and focus
Central to this is simplifying your message and focusing on it without distraction. If you’re a natural-born waffler, write everything out and then condense, condense, condense. That way, your message won’t be lost in extra detail. Use simple language and stay on point.
Don’t underestimate the power of listening
Communication — even written — is a two-way process: it requires excellent listening. You need to address the needs of the other party, which requires concerted effort. Again, don’t dash off a response or jump in quickly with a verbal answer. It’s better to take a little extra time to listen and digest before responding. If necessary, clarify what the other party means.
Be aware of your body language
When verbally communicating in person or over a video conference, be aware of what your body language is communicating. Maintain relaxed eye contact and an open body posture. If you’re on a video conference, you may need to exaggerate positive body language by doing things like making sure your hands are visible.
Communication skills are just like any other skill and can be improved through practice. Taking greater care over your communication may feel alien at first, but it’ll come to feel more natural in time. Practice in comfortable, stress-free situations, and you’ll find it is easier to communicate effectively in more stressful situations, such as interviews.
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