“5 Communication Tips You Can Start Using Today”

October  2013

 “5 Communication Tips You Can Start Using Today”

Charlotte Purvis

by Charlotte Purvis,  Communication Consultant and Coach, Perfect Balance Professional Services Group

Are you looking for ways to take your career to the next level? You may have already tried applying for jobs you know you’re not ready for yet. Or taken classes to advance your career. Perhaps you have learned golf. Or volunteered for special projects in an effort to gain more visibility. If you have enough energy left, consider this idea: Focus on your communication skills.

Here are five tips you can use – starting today – so you may contribute more to your organization and demonstrate commitment to your professional development.

  1. Know your communication history: What have been your top communication challenges? What do your managers and co-workers say about your communication? What is your assessment of your communication over the last few years? Now, think about the common themes. This might be the place to start in determining how your communication history influences your business relationships and success today. Reviewing your history allows you to avoid some of the pitfalls as you move onward and upward in your career.
  1. “Rinse and repeat”: When preparing an important document, consider the “rinse and repeat” approach to writing. As I have recommended to college-level business communication students over the years, print your document and review the hard copy vs. reviewing from a computer screen. Read each line carefully (reading out loud helps). Ask others to review the document as well. Set the document aside and then rewrite it, using the feedback you received.  Now, repeat.
  1. Brand your email: When developing an email, consider the different approaches and use as appropriate. An email message can be written to read like a text, memo, letter, or for documentation. If you’re replying to someone who is following up after interviewing you, it’s probably not a good idea to send a “text” email, instead choose a memo or “letter” format. Select the most appropriate approach and you will brand your email style as effective and adaptable.
  1. Seek opportunities to speak: Public speaking is frightful for some people. If you can relate, you might be surprised to know that the recommendation for you is to seek opportunities to speak. Why? Because it’s often a requirement for leadership roles. If just thinking about this is making you even more nervous, consider starting small, speaking in an empty room. Then invite a few of your biggest fans to be your audience. Continue to progress from there and if that doesn’t work, consider the next tip.
  1. Ask for help: I’ve had the great privilege of coaching people who are leaders in their organizations.  I have also been fortunate enough to have coaching relationships with early career professionals, student-athletes, college students, recent college graduates, people who are chronically unemployed, and those labeled unemployable.  In each and every coaching relationship, at least one area for improvement was identified – regardless of the level of professional success the person had already achieved.  Are you ready to address your communication challenges? If so, then I invite you to do what the people listed above did – seek help and then soar to new career heights.
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