Today’s topic is COMMUNICATION… I am big on communication within my personal and professional life. But today, I need to speak on professional communication. As a professional that has the responsibility of managing and communicating with others in the workplace, it is your civil duty to take responsibility for your own communication skills. If you suck at communication and you know it, everyday you should work on becoming a better communicator.
Here are a few tips on how to be a self-starter and enhance your communication skills
- Ask for feedback from your co-workers and direct reports
Constructive criticism makes us better as people and professionals. Never be afraid to ask for feedback. Early on my career, I had a manager that schedule weekly project update meetings with me. Once a week we would sit down and go over the status of all my project. My manager suggested we give 2-way feedback during each meeting. This opened the door for her to give me constructive criticism, and meet to give her feedback as my manager. I really respected the dialogue we shared during those meetings. We were two amazing black women in a corporate office. We did not always agree, but we were a unit. We had a balance and understanding on communication between ourselves, which made the work environment comfortable and easy.
- Listen to the feedback you receive
There is no point of asking for feedback if you don’t plan on taking it in. If you receive negative feedback, analyze it. Ask yourself? Why would you get negative feedback? How can you apply changes to improve? This is where accountability comes into place. If you get negative feedback, its up to you and only you to adjust accordingly.
- Use google, find resources that can help you improve professionally
Many companies do not invest in training anymore. The classroom doesn’t teach interpersonal skills. Communication skills are developed overtime, and they may change over and over again. If you need training for e-mail communication etiquette in the work place, google it. There are online resources available for just about everything in the world we live in today. There are articles, YouTube tutorials, lecture videos, and many of them are free. It is up to you to find what you need to improve.
- Set goals for yourself
Goal setting helps keep you accountable. Making small goals will also help you ensure you improve. I would suggest short term goals that challenges you to improve each week.
- Celebrate your improvement
After every achievement, celebrate yourself and your improvement. For example, if your goal is to enhance your formal e-mail etiquette, and you improve of the course of a month- treat yourself.