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9 Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills [Fulfillment@Work]

Fulfillment @ Work

   February 28th, 2007
   ISSN: 1533-3906


Please forward this newsletter about Communication Skills to your family, friends, and coworkers.

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The average person will change careers three to five times over the course of his or her working life.
Whether forced (through downsizing, for example) or self-initiated, chances are you'll return to the job market. What's the best way to improve your prospects?

Be an effective communicator.

According to 2006 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, communication skills are listed as the most important quality sought in job candidates.

Here's a list of the most desirable traits (on a 1-5 scale, 1=not at all important, 5=extremely important):

    * Communication skills (4.7)
    * Honesty/integrity (4.7)
    * Teamwork skills (4.6)
    * Strong work ethic (4.5)
    * Analytical skills (4.4)
    * Flexibility/adaptability (4.4)
    * Interpersonal skills (4.4)
    * Motivation/initiative (4.4)
    * Computer skills (4.3)

Now here's the kicker: of all those qualities, guess which one was cited most often as missing from prospective job candidates?

That's right, communication skills.

So whether you're looking to get ahead in the job market - or within your own company - your ability to communicate will make you stand out the crowd!

Have a brilliant week,



9 Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills

1) Make communication a priority.

Take classes, read books, magazine articles or learn from successful communicators around you. Seek a mentor or coach.

2) Simplify and stay on message.

Use simple, straightforward language. Remember that Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was 286 words, about two minutes long.

3) Engage your listeners or readers.

Draw your listeners and readers into the conversation. Ask questions and invite opinions. Solicit their feedback.

4) Take time to respond.

After you've listened (and understood) take time to "draft" in your head what you want to say.

5) Make sure you are understood.

Don't blame the other person for not understanding. Instead, look for ways to clarify or rephrase what you are trying to say so it can be understood.

6) Develop your listening skills, too.

The best communicators are almost always the best listeners. Listen without judgment and don't be distracted by thinking about what you want to say next. Then, respond, not react.

7) Body language is important.

Studies show that 65% of all communication is non-verbal. Watch for visual signs that your listener understands, agrees or disagrees with your message. And be aware that your body is sending signals, too.

8) Maintain eye contact.

Whether speaking to a crowd or one-on-one, maintaining eye contact builds credibility and demonstrates you care about your listeners.

9) Respect your audience.

Recognize your message is not just about you or what you want. You should sincerely care about the needs and the unique perspectives of those to whom you are communicating. One of the best ways to show your respect is simply by paying attention to what they say.


"The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it."

                                                                                                            Edward R. Murrow

"Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated."

                                                                                                            Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words."

                                                                                                            Rachel Naomi Remen


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