James Humes once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” Although many of us are aware that communication is important, you may not realize how essential good communication is – especially when trying to get ahead in your career. Repeat after me: communication is vital. No seriously, repeat it. Whether it be in a relationship with friends or a significant other, or at school or in the workplace, good communication skills are essential to everyday life. I am not just talking about messaging people on Facebook or texting, but I am talking about good verbal and nonverbal communication in job interviews, business meetings, and your future careers.
To get the right job, you must go through quite a few steps – this includes applications, numerous interviews, and training. To do well in all of these categories, you must know how to communicate. Communication is necessary for both success and happiness. To employers, your communication skills will often decide your fate. In business, good communication allows the workplace to function properly inside and out, enhances the brand of the business, and creates better customer service.
If you are unsure what good communication skills consist of, or are unsure of which components you lack, I’m your girl! Below are communication skills employers look for. Use this as your guide:
- TIMING. First things first, there is a time and place for everything. Timing includes emotion, location, and the environment. By taking into consideration where you are, what is happening, and how people are feeling, you will communicate better with the person in front of you.
- CONFIDENCE. Confidence is almost always the number one quality employers, and people in general, tend to look for in others. Showing a sense of confidence in yourself and your abilities allows others to see how capable you are of getting things done. No employer wants to hire someone who is unsure of his or her ability to be successful.
- LISTENING. If you are unable to sit back and listen to someone else, you will not get very far. Listening shows respect and gains it, too. If you feel you need to make a comment, wait until the other person finishes their thought and turn your comments into follow-up questions. Holding your tongue when necessary can determine the outcome in a lot of situations.
- FIRST IMPRESSIONS. You may be the smartest, prettiest, or most insightful person in your friend group, but your employer does not care. If you come to a meeting trying to flaunt your most appreciated personality traits, you may come off too strong. There is nothing wrong with being smart, pretty, or insightful; however, trying to show off can give you a bad reputation, especially when you have not been hired yet. First impressions are everything and may determine the likelihood of a possible second or third interview.
Communication is something that everyone must know how to do, and know how to do right. Unfortunately, with all the new technology around us we often forget how to communicate face-to-face. Technology doesn’t totally get in our way, though. You can utilize resources available online to get more educated in skills like communication. For more information on why communication is important and how to enhance your skills, the Career Services website and Your Career Action Plan (available on Canvas) are great places to start.
Georgina, aka Gina, is currently a junior at IU, majoring in family studies and sociology. Raised in Phoenix, AZ and South Bend, IN, she couldn’t be happier to be at IUB! Her passions include dance, working out, cooking, and spending time with friends, bf, family, and her cat Shadow. She plans to become a Marriage & Family therapist while working with issues like racism and inequality. Fun fact: she can’t start her day without a nice cup of coffee…or three, but who’s counting?