In the current job environment, soft skills are becoming more and more valuable. Studies in recent years have shown these types of skills boost productivity and job retention by 12% as well as providing a massive 250% return on investment.
With this in mind, intangible skills such as the ability to effectively communicate are sought after from the modern employee. However, everyone has room to improve and their own set of abilities they bring to the table. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you boost these soft skills.
Don’t talk, just listen
Sometimes the best thing to do if you want to communicate with someone is to listen. It’s impossible to respond effectively without first listening to them. As much as everyone would like to just talk about themselves, to truly make a connection with someone you need to be aware of what’s going on with them too!
As hard as this may be to believe, you are much more likely to have an effective conversation with a smile on your face than if you look miserable. Although faking a smile is ill-advised, it’s important to stay engaged throughout the interaction. This ultimately will be worth your while as you are much more likely to enjoy the interaction, therefore having a higher chance of being successful in whatever you are trying to achieve.
Some people enjoy a conversation. However, in business, there is rarely such a thing as a meaningless conversation. The phrase “there is no such thing as a free lunch” is truer than a lot of people realize. Fundamentally there must be something to offer when communicating in a business environment. This can be anything from a limited time offer, a new contract, or simply a co-worker reaching out for advice. Without something to offer people, effective communication is infinitely harder.
These soft skills are desirable for helping develop existing business relationships as well as establishing new ones. While these tips seem small and even obvious, it’s important to remember the basics. Once you have mastered this, establishing new contacts and meaningful professional relationships will become second nature.
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