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"A wordy email or text will clutter the vital points you are wanting to make. No amount of professional lingo or fancy verbiage will impress in professional communication, especially if it obscures the message."

Being a good communicator is an essential skill to have in any area of life. From personal to professional, any healthy and sound relationship requires clear communication. 

For the professional, establishing healthy workplace relationships with your employer, supervisor, colleagues, and clients is a must. That requires knowing how to convey your ideas and needs to them effectively so that everyone is on the same page and can work completely frustration free (or almost). So, here is a short primer on how to become a better communicator.

1. Learn to Be An Active Listener

Being an active listener means giving your devoted attention to the person who is speaking. It can be shown through verbal affirmation or body language and shows the other person that you are giving them your undivided attention. Asking questions, providing input and feedback, and even just putting aside what you are doing in that moment shows them you are prioritizing their time and energy. It conveys that you are listening to them and that what they are communicating to you is being registered and valued.

2. Learn to Be Concise

We have a short attention span. This is apparent in our society’s growing consumption of short form content in media and literature. Still, despite our shortening attention spans, communicating in written and verbal forms is most effective when it is clear and concise. This is especially true when we have important information to share. 

As they say, sometimes you need to “cut to the chase.” A wordy email or text will clutter the vital points you are wanting to make. No amount of professional lingo or fancy verbiage will impress in professional communication, especially if it obscures the message. So use short, simple words, adhering to professional courtesy.

3. Learn to Be Someone Who Follows Up

We all have tried communicating with those people who just can’t seem to get back to you. This has been a problem that nearly everyone experiences, but which many hesitate to address properly. Whether it is your boss, your co-worker, a recruiter, or anyone else in the professional world, stay in touch with them. 

Don’t be afraid to “pester” your co-worker about that task that you needed done last week, or to reach out again for clarification on that assignment your boss gave you. As I have learned, it is always better to over communicate than to avoid the “follow up.” It shows you are diligent, proactive, and eager to get things done.

If you’re not already doing these, right now is a good time to start! With these three basic steps, if you work on implementing them into your daily communications routine, you will find your work life will get considerably easier.

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