We communicate with others constantly. How you speak, listen, act, even how you sit during an interview can show your potential employer whether or not you’d be a good fit for the position you’ve applied for. If people on your team at work aren’t all on the same page, this can create a hostile work environment and even keep your company from being able to properly complete projects and meet deadlines. The benefits of effective communication are numerous and learning how to better communicate with others can make the difference between a successful team and an unsuccessful one.
The Importance of Communicating
You would be hard-pressed to find a job where you don’t have to communicate with others. Even if you aren’t in a “public facing” position at your company, you still need to communicate with your team and your boss in order to help everything run smoothly. Freelancers and those who work remotely aren’t even free from this as you have to have great communication skills to get clients and make sure you’re getting everything done that needs to be.
It is important to be able to effectively convey your ideas. If you aren’t able to explain a project idea to your team and your manager, it is highly unlikely that anyone will be on board for the project. If you can’t give clear instructions to your employees, you risk them being unable to correctly complete all the tasks you need to be done. You need to be clear about what you want, what you need, what the deadline is, etc. If you aren’t clear, communication breakdowns can cause frustration in teams and you may even find tasks aren’t being completed and deadlines aren’t being met.
You also need to be able to effectively communicate in order to solve problems and navigate a diverse workplace. Employers who are insensitive to the different backgrounds their employees come from and who don’t communicate in a way that works for everyone may find that employees are unhappy or that they feel offended by something that’s been said. Communicating effectively can stop problems from occurring in the first place and even when a problem does arise, it can be dealt with quickly.
Retaining employees also requires effective communication. You want your employees to get along because it creates a positive working environment for everyone. If employees feel that others don’t listen to them or like they don’t get along with their coworkers, they aren’t going to enjoy their job. If you are a manager, you need to be able to openly and effectively communicate with your employees. If you can’t listen to your employees when they express problems or concerns, they are going to stop coming to you about them and you are even at risk of them leaving for another company.
Where to Learn Better Communication Skills
You probably won’t be able to find many classes in your area on how to have better communication skills. There are public speaking classes and Communication courses but where do you find a class that will teach you how to more effectively communicate with the people around you? Fortunately, LinkedIn Learning has you covered. You are probably already familiar with LinkedIn as a professional social network. If you happen to have a LinkedIn account, you are already set up to begin any one of LinkedIn Learning’s thousands of courses.
LinkedIn Learning is designed to help teach professionals, job seekers, and students skills that they may otherwise not be able to learn in school. As technology is ever-changing and the skills required to get a job in a particular field change, some people may find themselves falling behind at a job they once thrived at. Taking a course or two on LinkedIn Learning can better skills you already have or allow you to gain others to add to your resume. LinkedIn knows what skills employers are looking for. They’ve gathered data from LinkedIn job postings and they are working hard to offer courses in all the top skills required for any given career field.
On LinkedIn Learning, you can learn as an individual or a company may sign their employees up so they can all train together. There are monthly plans or you can purchase individual classes. You don’t have to worry about not being able to find a class to suit your needs, as there are over 12,000 courses currently available and LinkedIn is always adding more every week. You can watch videos, read articles, take quizzes, download practice assignments, etc. all from the comfort of your own home or office. Once you’ve completed a course, you can even add a certificate directly to your LinkedIn profile to show off your newly gained skills.
How to Be a Better Communicator
Not everyone is comfortable with public speaking or with speaking to people in general. One way to help overcome those fears and become a better communicator is to take Communicating with Confidence. This course is designed to help you sound and look more confident when conversing with coworkers, presenting ideas in meetings, or having a serious discussion with your manager. Being nervous or anxious is very common, especially in stressful work environments, and this class wants to help you overcome that so you can better express your ideas to the people around you.
You will learn how to organize your thoughts better, how to engage people through eye contact and body language, even how to breathe in order to help with any nervous feelings. You’ll go through five modules, each with their own videos, exercises, and quizzes, and by the end of this course, you should have the skills you need to be a more confident communicator.
If you need a little help with being more persuasive, try the course Influencing Others. There will be times in your life where you just can’t seem to convince your team at work that your idea makes the most sense or will be the most beneficial to the company. There will also be times in your personal life where you just can’t seem to get someone to see your point of view. This class is designed to help you become a better influencer, using eighteen different methods.
You won’t just learn what the methods are, you’ll learn how and when to use them, as they can’t all be applied to every single situation you may find yourself in. You will learn the “pivot point of influence” and you’ll go over what you have to do to be a good influencer before you even start trying to influence people. You will watch videos, do exercises, and take quizzes over the course of this class. By the end, you’ll have a variety of tools at your disposal that you can use to be a better influencer, at home or at work.
LinkedIn Learning has two courses titled Communication Foundations. Both are designed to provide an overview of the different skills you need in order to be an effective communicator. In Communication Foundations (2013), you will learn how to better use your communication skills to effectively speak with anyone from any background. Part of being a great communicator is not just learning how to speak and how to convey your own message, but how to listen to others and understand their points of view. Communication breakdowns can occur if you aren’t open to or don’t understand the ideas brought from another culture or from another team or department at your company.
By taking this course, you will learn how to stop those breakdowns. There are two hours of video available to you, as well as chapter quizzes to better increase your understanding of the skills taught in this course. By the end of this class, you’ll be able to speak more confidently, present yourself better with your body language, and be an active, open listener.
The other Communication Foundations course is focused on using communication to help improve your career. There is an art to giving a good presentation, sending a professional email, and speaking to a potential employer at an interview. This course teaches you the fundamentals of communication: message, context, listening, and people.
You will watch video lectures and do exercises in order to become a more competent communicator in a variety of professional situations. Different situations require slightly different ways of communicating and it is important to know how to handle any situation. By the end of this course, you’ll have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of communication and how you can use them in different contexts.
Decrease Communication Breakdowns
There are a lot of things that can cause communication breakdowns in the workplace. By learning how to effectively communicate with different people, in a variety of different mediums, you can avoid these breakdowns altogether. A workplace can’t run smoothly if the employees working there can’t properly speak with and listen to one another. By learning how to communicate in different situations and applying those skills, you can reap the benefits of effective communication and have a better overall working experience.