Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
Communication skills are absolutely crucial regardless of what occupation you are in.
Over communicate. The truth is that people generally listen less than they should. Over communicating ensures that your message has been heard and enables questions to be asked about the fine points.
Think first, speak second, and always filter what you are about to say. This ensures that your first unfiltered and potentially misunderstood thought does not come out in an insulting way.
Listen intently with a sharp focus on what is being said. Forget about what is going on in your head or the next question you would like to ask. Good listening requires a blank mind with a full presence and focus on whoever is speaking. This is not the time to dual task or send an email.
Know your audience before you use acronyms or abbreviations. Will they know what you are saying or will the abbreviations be too informal? Too often we take for granted that those external to our organization know what our internal abbreviations mean. Most of the time they have no idea or think it has a different meaning. Good communicators know their audience and craft their message specific to that audience even if it means using different language.
Consider picking up the phone instead of sending a long convoluted email. Sometimes the most complicated of situations are better explained live over the phone which also gives the other person an opportunity to ask questions.
Take notes on what is being said in a meeting. While we want to believe we can remember everything, the truth is we are lucky to recall only a portion of what was discussed. Taking notes ensures you will not forget key points and reminds you of any follow ups you committed to.