Having strong communication skills is going to help you succeed in every stage of your professional career.
The next edition of Beyond English Fluency is here.
If you are new, Beyond English Fluency dives into topics and shares strategies around communication that go beyond language.
Every other Wednesday (twice per month), I share a theme related to communication that goes in depth about one theme, strategy or idea. Whether you are a non-native English speaking professional or consider yourself a native looking to excel in your communication- you’ll find a strategy that you can apply to your own situation.
Today I am sharing with you some of the most important areas to focus on if you want to enhance your communication skills for your professional career.
Your ability to speak up, present yourself with confidence and communicate well is key to career success.
You may be incredible at what you do but if you unable to articulate your ideas with confidence and clarity, defend your decisions, get team buy-in and connect with international colleagues and stakeholders, it will hold you back from opportunities, being recognised and reaching your full potential.
I’ve spoken before about enhancing your higher level communication skills but today I am diving deeper into some of those specific skills for career growth.
If you are familiar with Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you will know that the number one habit is: Be Proactive
Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life and your career. You are aware that you are in control of your actions and how you react to different situations.
A big part of how being proactive impacts our communication is through the language we use. When you are a proactive person you tend to have a ‘can do’ attitude and use more open and positive communication.
Proactive communication is when you consider the problems and act to present them before they even happen.
This means you answer people’s questions before they ask them.
You consider the issues and challenges and seek to solve them before they happen.
In your career, this could mean bringing up important issues and conversations with your team and manager that others haven’t considered yet or are potentially avoiding.
Examples of proactive language:
‘Let’s look at an alternative solution’.
‘There has to be a way to…’
‘I’ll do it’.
The opposite of being proactive is to be reactive.
When you are reactive you are using language like:
‘There’s nothing I can do’.
‘I can’t do this…’
‘Someone else can do it.’
This type of language and attitude is associated with a fixed growth mindset.
Our language is incredibly powerful.
The language we choose to use changes how others view us.
If you ever find yourself using language like this at work or in a job interview, you could be negatively affecting your career and sabotaging your success.
Our ability to connect, our willingness to listen and relate to others is an important skill for all people to have.
Empathy is an emotional skill that’s built through understanding others. It is also one of the top skills employers seek when hiring or promoting.
We aren’t always going to agree with our colleagues, team or employer.
But showing empathy and using language that shows you understand and respect others opinions will help build relationships.
Language acts both as the vehicle and outcome of empathy.
Using phrases like:
‘I understand where you are coming from’
‘How can I best help you?’
‘Tell me more…’
Using phrases like this shows that you have been listening to the other person, you respect their opinions and their experiences are important to us.
I couldn’t write about career success without mentioning confidence.
Having a high level of confidence in what you do and what you say will build trust. When you are confident in your ideas and decisions, others are more likely to be, too.
Having confidence isn’t just about how you come across to others (that’s very important, too) but the language you are using. When you are confident, you are more likely to speak concisely and with clarity.
Professionals who communicate with confidence can convey what they want to their clients and co-workers in a clear and efficient manner.
Having low self-esteem can greatly impact your career growth. It’s also going to affect your earning potential.
If you aren’t confident in your communication, how you speak and how you present yourself, you will find it hard to reach your career goals.
There are many other areas to develop but from my experience having confidence, empathy and being proactive in your communication are essential for career growth and workplace success.
What do you think has been the number one skill to develop for your own career growth? What area do you think would be helpful for you to focus on?
Let me know in the comments below ??
If you would like to build your communication confidence and foundations in English but are not really sure how or where to start then check out my free guide to build your confidence today.
Listen to The Design of Communication Podcast – new episodes every Thursday about how you can become a confident communicator, articulate yourself clearly, and make more impact in the workplace as a design, tech or creative professional.
Do you have any additional questions? Feel free to reach out and send me a message. I’m happy to help.