Verbal Communication Skills That'll Get You Hired
Verbal communication skills are one of the most important skills in the workplace. Without great communication skills, an employer could see you as a potential risk. They could see you as being difficult to collaborate with, hard to understand, and having a lack of confidence.
Communication skills, particularly verbal communication skills (along with active listening skills, which we’ll discuss in a moment) is one of the most tested skills for leadership roles.
Think about it, when you’re listening to a CEO speak about the future of the company, it’s clear. It’s precise. It has been well thought through and it sounds almost as if they are reading from a well-written speech. This is because they have incredible speaking skills.
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Why Are Verbal Communication Skills Important
Verbal communication skills are one of the staples in terms of soft skills. Knowing how to communicate with your colleagues allows for collaboration, clarity, and the execution of work.
Without great verbal communication skills, you could potentially cost the business money. For example, if you were to make a mistake on understanding what the needs of a project were. And then you were to continue to invest your time in the wrong direction, this is the time that the business loses by not meeting its objectives.
Verbal communication skills can also help you influence your fellow colleagues. Being able to influence someone is helpful in them trusting your insight. Without a doubt, there will be moments in your working life where there isn’t enough data or insights to make a decision. In this event, you have to use intuition. And when using it, you have to communicate it, as well. That’s where verbal communication and influence come together.
Tip: Intuition is one the most important soft skills to have based on a recent study by IBM Watson, which looked at nearly 15,000 employee tasks.
Verbal Communication Isn’t Just About Speaking
One of the most important aspects of verbal communication skills is that it’s not simply about speaking. Listening, comprehending, interviewing, and clarifying are absolutely part of verbal communication skills. And most of the time, these components to the skill don’t require you speaking.
Here’s what you should know.
Listening is vital. If you don’t truly listen to someone, you won’t know how to respond. Listening is a key skill in the workplace as it can either make or break collaboration.
Keeping your bias clear. This is similar to having an open mind to the person you’re speaking with. When they speak, don’t have a bias. Give their perspective and information a chance.
Don’t get distracted. If you’re truly listening to someone, you won’t be getting distracted. Any movement towards your phone or lack of eye contact might be you breaking your listening skills.
Comprehend the other persons message. Don’t simply listen, try and visualize what they’re communicating to you. Comprehend what they’re trying to communicate, and let it sink in.
When they’re speaking, don’t be listening to yourself prepare your next question. If you don’t let someone finish their thought before you begin cultivating more questioning, you’ll be missing key pieces of information related to the conversation. This would be breaking active listening. And could risk you asking a question that may not be relevant or may have already been answered in the discussion if you were to have continued to listen.
Asking for clarity. Asking for clarity is a key part of verbal communication skills. If someone forgets a small detail, asking about the detail.
Technically, this is all considered active listening. This is the talent and skill of being aware with the other person and hearing, listening, comprehending and knowing how to relate to the other person's message.
Know How To Ask Questions
Asking questions is a vital part of doing business. For example, if you’re interviewing a client trying to understand what you should build for them, asking questions is going to be vital to the success of your communication. The client you’re working with is going to forget small portions of their discussion. And with your insightful questioning, you’ll be able to fill the gaps.
There are two types of questioning techniques. Open questioning and closed questioning. Open questioning is something like, “How do you feel about this direction?” when closed questioning is, “When is this due?”
What Are Non-Verbal Communication Skills?
Non-verbal communication skills are your ability to speak with your motions, your body language, and your sense of being. This is similar to the event where you can understand what another driver on the road might be trying to do even before they do it. The non-verbal queues we provide to each other as human beings.
In the workplace, non-verbal communication skills are important because it shows that you understand how to use your body language to influence others. From having confidence to providing a smile to another employee to brighten up their day.
Here are some examples of non-verbal communication queues:
- When in a meeting, crossing your legs and looking relaxed and confident.
- When in a meeting, making eye contact and actively listening.
- When walking past an employee, providing a smile and a hello.
- When in a meeting, not using your phone or computer and making eye contact.
- Not folding your arms when having a conversation with someone.
- Smiling frequently to indicate that you are happy in the active conversation you’re having.
How To Show Verbal Communication Skills
You can absolutely list this soft skill as part of your resume. Though, if you’re using it as a soft skill on your cover letter or trying to show it in your interview, there are a few things you should know.
First, if you’re trying to show verbal communication skills on your cover letter, use a STAR reference. This takes a situation you were part of at work, a task that you were challenged with (normally by your manager or supervisor), the action you took (use an action that relied on your communication skills) and then the result that happened because of it.
If you are trying to show your verbal communication skills in an interview, some of the best ways you can do this are to practice your listening skills, your questioning skills, knowing what open and closed question is, and generally being prepared for the interview.
When showing your communication skills in an interview you might want to:
- Ensure that you ask your interviewer to clarify their question if you don’t understand it. The act of asking them to clarify their question shows that you were listening and know how to interview.
- Ensure that when the interviewer is speaking, your arms are not folded, you aren’t looking at your phone, you are making eye contact, you are smiling and you are in the process of actively listening.
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