Working as an Engineer in Nova Scotia
Interpersonal communication skills are the number one soft skill that employers are looking for. These skills are as important, if not more important than technical skills in the Canadian workplace.
Effective communication offers a number of benefits to an organization such as building trust; preventing or resolving problems; creating solid relationships, improving productivity; and promoting team building.
Employers want to know that you can be an effective communicator; someone who can convey your message confidently and be receptive and responsive to others' input.
Here are a few strategies to keep in mind for effective communication:
This will help you choose your approach and style of communication – is it a casual or formal situation? You will communicate differently if you are asking your supervisor for a raise as opposed to asking a colleague for help.
Effective communication is less about talking, and more about listening. Listening well means not just hearing the words, but understanding the emotions and meaning others are trying to convey. Asking questions and re-phrasing are two skills that are helpful when you are actively listening.
Put your thoughts in order before you speak – this ensures that you express them in a coherent and concise way.
This includes the tone, volume and pace of your speech. Adjust these to fit the audience and the situation.
It is especially important to keep an open, inviting posture and to make eye contact. Be careful of negative body language – it can cause others to be confused about your message.
Watch others for body language that might indicate they do not understand what you are saying or are uncomfortable with the topic.
This encourages others to approach you and engage in open and honest dialogue that is considerate of cultural differences.
Try not to judge what others are saying, but instead listen with empathy. This will encourage more meaningful dialogue.