Communication skills are among the most sought-after skills in any job posting for just about any industry. In an increasingly competitive business landscape, more engineers, architects and programmers are finding themselves immersed in projects, while technology and computer programming students are trying to get the essentials under their belt to take into their future careers. Communication skills, it seems, are important to technology employers but aren’t being prioritized in technology employees. Knowing these skills are valued and looked for when you’re making career moves, like finding a new job or getting a promotion, how can you cultivate them?
- Practice active listening. One of the fastest ways to be considered a good communicator is to be a good listener. Active listening requires you to repeat back what you’ve heard the speaker say in your own words to make sure you heard all the information correctly. If your boss asks for a report by the end of the week, you can respond with “Okay, so you’d like the report by Friday before 5?” to show you’re engaged and increase clarity on your end.
- Be considerate of body language. This applies both to yours and paying attention to others. Communication is more than what you say or what other people are saying. Observing and being aware of how people hold themselves in space is a way to better understand someone’s moods and thoughts. If you’re in a meeting, make sure those around you know you’re paying attention by not checking your cell phone. Crossing your arms might signal anger or disinterest, so be aware of how you’re presenting yourself to others. Also be cognizant of the way people are presenting themselves to you – avoiding eye contact might insinuate discomfort and nail-biting might mean someone is anxious.
- Step up your reading. Reading anything from a New York Times’ best-selling business book to Harry Potter can not only introduce you to new ideas and perspectives, which make it easier to communicate with people, it can also give you some common ground or talking points when looking for conversation topics.
Improving communication doesn’t have to be hard. A few simple practices a few times a day can help you feel more comfortable in your communication skills and help you move forward in your career.
If you’re looking for a new position, looking to make moves in your career or just want to find a place that will appreciate your newly honed communication craft, give us a call today. Our industry experts can help match you with the right fit for you.