They don’t listen to you? Are you sure that you’re communicating the right way? Current and future interns – listen up! Communication skills form the very basis of virtually every job description that you would come across when you send your intern resume out for this season of winter internships. Or a few years later, head on a job search for a job after college.
This blog is a quick recount on the importance of communication skills and how you can actively work on them, right here in your college.
What are Communication skills all about?
Communication lies at the heart of everything we do. In a bookish sense, it’s imparting ideas, awareness, information and knowledge and ensuring it is understood, in the way you originally intended it to be understood.
Improving your Communication Skills
A. Written Communication Skills
In most cases – This is your base English. Your written communication skills will reflect in your Emails, PPTs and documents. And (in case of a marketing internship) on the digital platforms (be it on a blog, social media or through emails). It’s also part and parcel of your daily life for now – be it for papers or placements.
Here is how you can work on them.
- Set the Agenda – Write clear Email subject lines, set the clear theme for your documents
- Be clear about your message
- Be clear about the tone of your message.
- Proofread your message
- One communication, one message
- Don’t write if you can talk it out
- Think, frame, draft, edit and then send. Don’t hit send without a thought.
B. Verbal Communication Skills:
Verbal communication skills at the office that you would be expected to work on would include day-to-day communication, within the team and within the organisation, presentation and meetings.
Here’s how you can improve your one-to-one verbal communication skills:
1. Check yourself against filler words: Find yourself using ‘umm, ahh’ and ‘I think’ too often? The message you are giving is disjointed and attracted. Play your conversation in your head before delivering it.
2. Practice Active Listening: When in a conversation, take your cues from what the other person is saying. Maintain eye contact, make mental notes and repeat what you have understood to check whether you got the message, the way they intended it.
3. Make your point: Get to the point, stay on it.
4. Cut calls, avoid messages: When in a one-on-one conversation, concentrate on the person you’re talking to.
5. Illustrate with a story: Cue your message or back it up with an anecdote or story, which will make it easier for the person to remember it.
6. Believe in what you say, to ensure conviction and confidence.
7. Get feedback: Ask the person to repeat what they understood and clarify doubts if any.
Presenting to a group:
And if you’re presenting or communicating your ideas to a larger group, this is how you can improve your case:
1. Get your agenda straight: Create goals, discuss point by point and check whether you achieved them in the end.
2. Feedback on all stages: Ask the group to clearly outline your points to ensure they are getting the message the way you intend them to.
3. Elicit different opinions, welcome them
4. Work through conflicts: Differing opinions can lead to conflicts. Respect everyone’s POV and lead to a comfortable resolution – be it by bringing everyone to one answer or letting all stand.
5. Ask open questions
6. Take and let others take breaks.
Got it? Go through these 20 techniques to improve your communication skills and you would be able to ace your interactions at the office. It can also help you convert that internship into a job!