My Communication Skills
Communication is all around us; whether you are talking or people around you are talking, you can’t go anywhere without hearing some sort of communication. How well you communicate can depict how others look at you professionally, and how comfortable are you communicating through different channels, such as face to face, online, and e-mail? I will evaluate my communication skills and discuss any gaps that I have and any training that I could use to improve my current style of communication.
“Open communication has been proved to be one of the most vital business success factors relating to many classic business and management concepts, such as job satisfaction, organizational performance, and decision-making.” (Schiller, 2010, page 37). The assessment I took is called “How Good Are Your Communication Skills”? It has 15 questions and ask questions about how I react when people talk to me, if I think about what I am going to say before I say it, if I see people’s perspectives, if I pay attention to body language, how I communicate through e-mail, visual diagrams, and if I consider cultural barriers. My total score was 52, which means I am a capable communicator, but I sometimes have problems. I agree with this assessment. It has taken me a long time to get where I am at today, with my communication, and I am still working on my skills today. The assessment says to take the time to think about my approach and focus on receiving messages effectively.
Growing up, I was a shy person, and everyone knew I was constantly made fun of for it. I was an only child, and I had a small family; as I got older, I surrounded myself with people who were outgoing and weren’t afraid to be the center of attention, so it brought me out of my shell more. No one could hide behind cell phones and e-mail, so it forced me to start talking more and being myself. I find myself, still struggling to communicate effectively today when it comes to certain things. I work in a business, where we are always having meetings and presenting on our projects, so we need to have the skills and the confidence to communicate. Now, we live in a world where we everyone uses technology; we need to not only know how to communicate in person but also through the digital format as well. “Whether one speaks of written or spoken communication; verbal or nonverbal communication; face-to-face or digital communication, the process of communication involves humans making meaning together” (Stewart, 2002b, p. 17). Some of my communication gaps are; talking before thinking, understanding my audience, being clear and concise, and work on active listening.
Improving my communication skills is an ongoing process that I will continue to work on my whole life, and if I plan to be a Vice President one day, then I will need to get to a level, where I feel comfortable being in front of people and being looked at as a leader and someone who can give advice and be confident. The mindtools website mentions the KISS method (“Keep It Simple and Straightforward”); I will keep this in mind and remember only to put in information that is needed and not use extra fluff. People can get lost in that and then start asking questions about things that don’t matter, and it can take away from that I am trying to talk about. According to Haggarty (2003), “clear communication always starts with the end in view, considers the following four factors to enhance your skills; purpose, place, the person, and your personality” (p. 52). If I think about these factors before going into any conversation, I believe that I will be more successful. Thinking about the purpose will get me prepared for what I want to get out of the conversation, that way at the end, myself and the other person leave feeling like we accomplished what we came to talk about. There is always a time and a place to have a conversation. I shouldn’t be having a private conversation in an open lunch room, and I also should not have a big business meeting a loud noisy place, where no one can hear me. I am going to talk to all sorts of different individuals, so it is essential to know how different people communicate. If I am setting up a one on one with someone, I can reach out to them beforehand, and see how they prefer it to go and if they want an agenda, so I can provide one. I not only want to make sure I am being successful but also making sure I am learning how others prefer to communicate as well. The last point that he talks about is personality, which I don’t agree with. He mentions that you must modify your behavior to successfully end the conversation, and someone may be turned off by your style if the person you are talking to does not match yours. I feel that you should not have to change who you are. We are going to talk to people who are not like us, but we should not have to modify our personalities. People can have disagreements about projects and deadlines and still work well together. I believe that changing certain aspects of your personality, like communication style can be helpful, but if it something you believe in, then you should stand by it. Another thing that I am going to do to improve my skills is starting to go to toastmasters. My company hosts toastmasters every month for people who want to work on presenting, and I have yet to go to one. I will make it a goal of mine to start going.
Overall, I am going to keep improving my communication skills throughout my career. Like I mentioned before, I want to become a Vice President in my company and become a great leader. I have come a long way since I was younger, and I am coming out of my shell more every day. I sometimes find myself wanting to be alone, but that is how I recharge, but that does not mean, I will stop working on my communication skills. I will go to Toastmasters and work with my peers to get feedback on how I can be a better leader.
- Schiller, S. Z., & Cui, J. (2010). Communication openness in the workplace: The effects of medium (F2F and IM) and culture (U.S. and china). Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 13(2), 37-75. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/89207043?accountid=32521
- Stewart, J. (2002b). Communicating and interpersonal communicating. In J. Stewart (Ed.), Bridge not walls – A book about interpersonal communication (pp.16–45). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
- Haggerty, D. (2003). Unlock the door to clearer communication. Nursing Management, 34(1), 52. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/231470500?accountid=32521
- How Good Are Your Communication Skills: – Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading Effectively. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_99.htm