Communication in the workplace can take many forms, so you’ll need to determine what the accepted norms are for your employer. For example, some teams have weekly meetings to check on everyone’s progress and chat about any issues that have come up during the prior week. Some teams work remotely and only communicate via email and phone. That’s why it’s important to have good communication skills – especially as a young professional.
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Whatever type of communication you are using, make sure you are participating in the discussion, asking questions where necessary and providing responses when asked.
No matter what, make sure your communication is professional in its tone. What you say is a huge reflection on you, so make sure you think before you speak. No one expects you to know all the answers, so freely admit if you’re not sure about something and offer to get back to the person once you have more information.
If you’re able to establish credibility early in your career, you will have a much easier time going forward. Tell the truth and be sincere. You will quickly earn your co-workers’ and managers’ trust if you exhibit these qualities.
In many workplaces and career fields, there is an expectation you will work with other people on projects during the course of your employment. It’s sometimes tough to get along with varying personalities and that is precisely why clear communication is so important. Take time to listen to other people’s points of view. You may not always agree, but it’s likely you can learn something new by being open to other perspectives.
As a young professional, you will be expected to communicate with co-workers, your manager, and possibly more senior leaders within the organization. Many colleges require public speaking courses and a basic introductory communications class to better prepare students for the workplace, but sometimes this isn’t quite enough.
If you need help finding your voice and speaking in front of others, practice does help. There are also organizations like Toastmasters International that coach professionals in their presentation abilities.
Also, remember that a big part of communication is receiving a message. Young professionals need to be open to receiving direction and feedback from co-workers and managers within the organization. Most seasoned professionals can tell you they have been on the receiving end of criticism at some point in their careers.
Listen to the feedback and then take action to improve upon whatever was cited in the discussion as an area for improvement. No one is perfect, so don’t expect to know everything. Take initiative to correct the issue going forward and learn from the experience.
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