The Art of Communication

Sharpen your skills interpersonally, verbally, and written.

Each time you enter a room, you employ a different skill set. Knowing which hat to don is perceptively based on the conversation in the room. Your personality is what you become most known for when networking, and interchanging your skills makes navigating your business, workspace, and everyday life simple.

Regardless of being an introvert or extrovert, the way you go about exchanging information in a face-to-face setting is verbal and nonverbal. Your body language speaks even when your mouth is not moving, and you have to be cognizant of that. It may sound elementary, but you want to effectively appeal to people’s senses when communicating because that is how you get your message across clearly. I learned a long time ago that perception is everything, and when you give off a disinterested vibe, it is easily picked up on.

Adults do not want to be chastised or spoken to like a child, so the tone of your voice is important as you convey your message to your audience. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so what you say, how you say it, and how you enter a room does matter. It is cliché to say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that is exactly what happens when you carry out your duties and tasks that require you to collaborate with others.

If you are perceived to have a monotone approach or unorganized way to disseminate and receive information, most of what is communicated becomes lost in translation. Actively listening and speaking with clarity without ambiguity helps to facilitate effective communication.

Unfortunately, there are times you will interact with others who are ready to respond to everything you say without fully understanding the value you bring to the conversation or the discussion. For instance, when you are receiving emails in your business, work memorandums, or personal text messages, you know what to expect, but the tone is not clearly understood. As a result, what is not understood becomes dismissed, which is why attention to detail in your work as you communicate what you do is important.

So here’s how we are going to check your communication skills. First, you have to accept the fact that you will have to work with others at some point in your business or career, and the immediate feedback you receive is necessary. You may not handle criticism well if it is less than flattery, but you have to be willing to understand their experience with you from their perspective.

Whether it is face-to-face in a collaborative setting, written to outline your expectations, or even verbal in a training setting or evaluation, you have to be open and let down your need to defend yourself. How well you communicate is a part of your personal brand, and in business, career, or personal life, you want to be open to discuss or explain what is being asked of you.

Secondly, to sharpen your communication skills, you have to be willing to see the positive in the message conveyed even if you do not entirely agree. The last thing you want is to come off as combative. It is not easy to receive information you do not want to hear, but it is necessary. You run the risk of blocking out a teachable moment when you become complacent and resist change. It takes minimal effort and talent to listen which is why understanding the positives and room for improvement are critical in business, career and even in your personal life.

Last but not least, avoid entering into a co-working space thinking that you know everything. A hostile environment, misspelled word in written communication, or wrong tone of voice will alienate the people you should be communicating with. You need others’ input in your decision-making in order to critically assess the pros and cons of trends that could have a significant impact on your endeavors. Rarely can we navigate our space alone, and it takes a collective effort to get tasks done even when you prefer to work solo. 

I’m not saying that it is completely impossible to get work done by yourself—it’s just that you need interaction with people in your industry and profession to avoid biases to continue being effective. Learning how to have open and honest communication is a skill. Season your words with kindness and have an open mind as you exchange ideas and information. 

Often in your interpersonal skills, it’s not what you say but how you say it.

Published by LaTilya Rashon

🦋Mother and Entrepreneur figuring this thing called life out and trusting the process🦋

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