Efficient communication skill is important for a healthy workplace environment. It falls under the category of soft interpersonal skills comprises of sharing of information from person to person or to a group of people. You can communicate in various ways, and every way comprises of sharing of information. Today, we’ll discuss 5 types of communication and how to improve them.
Types of Communication
You can share information in various ways like verbal, non-verbal, visual, and written. Some of the main types of communication are as follows;
Verbal communication is the process of using language to share information through sign language and spoken words. It is a very common form of communication comprising one-on-one meetings and conversations, phone calls, video conferences, and presentations. However, the reason verbal communication is significant is that it’s efficient and effective.
How to Improve Verbal Communication
Some of the main tips on how to improve verbal communication are as follows;
- Think Before Speak. While speaking, you should remove all the awkward pauses and organize your thoughts before uttering anything. It’s important that you should depend on concise information. It’s not always possible to write down your thoughts in an impromptu discussion. Therefore, you should take your time to organize your thoughts before start speaking.
- Clear & Concise. The best way to make your point across the table is to be clear and concise in your arguments. You should use the direct approach to present your argument, and avoid using convoluted sentences and complex language. Before saying anything, you should ask yourself “is this the best way to do it?”
- Confidence Speaking. Confidence communication style would help you to earn the respect of your audience and establish trust with them. There are various factors involved affecting the capability of a person to speak confidently like; 1. Making direct eye contact with the audience 2. Body language 3. Tone of voice 4. Choice of words 5. Command on the subject matter
- Vocal Tone. You can easily bore your audience and they would disconnect with you if you’re addressing them in a monotone voice. The tone of your voice should be altered in order to put emphasis on the important points and give expression to your voice. It would help you to keep the attention and engagement of your audience.
Non-verbal communication comprises facial expressions, gestures, and body language to share information. It could be unintentional or intentional. For instance, you would smile unintentionally when you come across any type of enjoyable, pleasing, and interesting piece of information. It is very helpful when you’re trying to understand the emotions and feelings of other people.
The person would be nervous or angry if they’re showing closed body language like hunched shoulders or crossed arms. They’re feeling good and open to any type of information if they’re showing open body language like both legs on the floor and arms on the table.
How to Improve Non-verbal Communication
Some of the main tips on how to improve non-verbal communication are as follows;
- Non-verbal Signals. People speak in various ways in order to share out information. You should pay heed to the small things like tone of voice, body movement, posture, gestures, and eye contact. It suggests that you can send important information that you can’t send in words. When you pay attention to the non-verbal cues of other people, it would amplify your capability to improve nonverbally.
- Incongruent Behavior. You should be very careful if your words don’t match up with your non-verbal cues. For instance, some people would say that they’re happy while staring and frowning at the ground. People would ignore what you said when your words don’t match up with non-verbal cues. Instead, their focus is on emotions, thoughts, and moods.
- Tone of Voice. Your tone of voice sends a great amount of information like anger, disinterest, and enthusiasm. If the tone is effective, then it would strengthen the message. For instance, if you want to show your interest and enthusiasm, then you should use an animated tone of voice. The signals not only share your interests in the subject, but it also helps you to generate the interest in your audience.
- Eye Contact. Maintaining eye contact plays a significant role in non-verbal communication. When you fail to make eye contact, then it suggests that you’re hiding something or avoiding it. However, over eye-contact would imply intimidation or confrontation. Maintaining eye contact doesn’t mean that you have to fix your eyes on the other person. Many communication specialists suggest that the interval of eye contact should comprise 4 to 5 seconds. It should comprise of such a duration that both parties should feel comfortable
Visual communication comprises using graphs, charts, sketches, drawings, art, and photographs in order to share information. People use visuals to support their presentation by adding context to their written or verbal information. However, visual communication is a very useful and helpful style of learning where the audience could easily understand ideas and information.
How to Improve Visual Communication
Some of the main tips on how to improve visual communication are as follows;
- Ask Before Adding Visuals. You should ask your audience about the feedback before adding visuals to your presentation. It’s because visuals can be distracting and muddle things up. You should only include visuals in your presentation when it would make a better impact on your audience.
- Know your Audience. While including the visuals in your presentation, you should add such visuals that your audience could easily understand them. If the visuals comprise unfamiliar data and information, then you should explain fully the information in the visuals and how it makes sense. You should avoid using images that comprise violent, offensive, and sensitive information.
Written communication is the process of sharing information with numbers, letters, printed and typed symbols, and written words. It’s important because it offers great information for record and reference. However, some of the channels that people use for sharing written information are memos, letters, blogs, articles, pamphlets, and books. The other common communication forms in the workplace are charts and emails.
How to Improve Written Communication
Some of the main tips on how to improve written communication are as follows;
- Start Thinking. For effective writing, your thought process should be clear. You should step back, think clearly and align your thoughts with your vision. It’s an internal thought process comprised of exploration and detailed mind mapping, and it results in the form of a clear and well-structured framework for the written word. However, if you don’t work on the thought process, it would result in the form of a confused message and structure.
- Write to your Audience. You have to follow the same rule for written communication and that is to focus on the audience. You should take all of your time to understand your audience before writing. Their education level about the topic, how much they should know, and what actions you want them to take. It’s because your written work is for your reader, and not for you.
- Valuable Tools. Some of the correction tools like Grammarly or Microsoft Readability Assessment would help you to amplify the quality of your text. They would allow you to recognize various types of mistakes like inappropriate tone or typographical mistakes.
The process of communication can’t be complete without listening; it focuses on the point of what you do when you aren’t talking. The most difficult and critical part of communication is listening. However, when you’re talking with someone, then you should not only focus on hearing the words of the other person. Instead, you should pay heed to the non-verbal cues of the speakers and the overall communication like;
- Fidgeting and playing with their hands and feet while talking
- The body posture is open or close
- Making the eye contact or simply avoiding it
These small things would tell about the interest and mindset of the other person.
How to Improve Listening
Some of the main tips to improve listening are as follows;
- Asking to follow up questions for clarification on the main points and then summing things up for understanding, and helps them to clear out all types of misunderstanding and misinterpretation
- Pay heed to their words, but also focus on their non-verbal cues
- Look away from your computer screen
- Keep the face of your phone down in order to give priority to the other person
- Your focus and attention should be on the speaker while listening
Along with following the above-mentioned suggestion; you should engage with the speaker in the conversational style, conforming to the views and gestures of the other person to show that you’ve understood fully whatever they’re saying.