UNDERSTANDING VERBAL COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE
WHAT IS VERBAL COMMUNICATION?
Verbal communication is a type of communication that uses words to share information with others. These words may either be spoken or written or a combination of both. However, in everyday parlance, verbal communication is used to describe spoken communication. Verbal communication is vital because you need to be understood and interpreted correctly. This is not only true in one’s personal life but extremely important in an organizational context as well. Mastering verbal communication can be an essential attribute, helping you achieve great success in your career.
There are several aspects to acquiring good verbal communication skills— speaking with clarity, listening carefully, and other subtle skills of contemplation and clarification. We also need to be aware that effective verbal communication goes hand-in-hand with non-verbal communication, such as your body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and hand gestures.
ASPECTS OF VERBAL COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE
First impressions –
In interpersonal meetings, the first few minutes are significant. First impressions have a significant impact on how you make progress with the issues on hand. We all have an ingrained habit of forming instant impressions of the people we meet, based on how they look, sound, and behave. Similarly, how you talk and express yourself leaves an impression on others.
Choosing your words –
Your choice of words should consider the nature of the listener, the context, and your immediate environment. You may need to use different words in different situations, even when discussing the same subject. For example, explaining something to a colleague can differ from how you present the same issue at a conference or while addressing your management.
Active listening –
Listening is an important skill to acquire, if you want to master all types of communication. One of the most significant barriers to effective communication is the inability to listen carefully. We often listen to respond, not paying attention to what the other person has to say. By keeping an open mind, focusing on the speaker, and being objective, we can learn how to become effective listeners.
Reinforce your verbal expressions using non-verbal gestures such as nodding, a warm facial expression, and maintaining eye contact. Reinforcements help build consensus and are more likely to allow our listeners to be open to what we are communicating. It paves the way to develop and maintain relationships with warmth and trust.
Asking the right questions –
When you pose the right questions, you are an active participant and listener who is involved and engaged. An essential aspect of effective communication is to be immersed in the communication process. Seeking clarifications that are pertinent helps achieve objectives with greater efficiency and a higher degree of accuracy. Interesting questions can be a great way to start conversations and captivate your audience.
Reflecting and contemplating –
Reflecting is an extremely beneficial skill that can also be applied to a wide range of contexts. It shows how good you are at assimilating and capturing the essence of others’ facts and feelings. It helps you demonstrate that you are considerate and articulates your response with clarity and purpose.
Verbal communication skills are highly valued in every position across an organization. It’s safe to say that verbal skills are the bedrock on which all of your other skills rest. The stronger your communication skills, the better your chances of being successful. As we have already established, effective verbal communication skills are much more than just talking. Not only do you learn how to deliver messages but also how you receive them. It may be a simple foundational skill, but it’s extremely important for every employee out there.
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