Author:  Emily Monaghan. Administration Manager – PATH4 Logistics

In most job advertisements there is always a mention of having ‘Good communication skills – written and verbal’. What does this actually mean? And why is it important to employers?

In this day and age, bad communication or even miscommunication can have wide repercussions for any business. The backbone of any organisation is effective communication both externally and internally. Without it, you could miss out on important opportunities, waste time and cause frustration for your colleagues and customers.

Think about it – a hastily written email you dash off without much thought could easily be interpreted as rude or angry. The melting pot of different personalities in a workplace inevitably means differing communication styles. What I see as a ‘direct and clear’ approach, you might see as ‘cold and terse’.

So what communication strategy should you use? Here are some starting points:

  • Be diplomatic, open-minded and non-judgemental: This is the most effective way to both avoid and resolve conflicts.
  • Have a conversation: Rather than emailing back and forth, sometimes a phone call or face to face talk can do wonders.
  • Really listen: This is harder than it sounds. Our minds can easily wander off while someone is talking (especially in group meetings). Focus and active listening are skills that require practice.
  • Take out the emotion: If you are dealing with a difficult person or situation it’s natural to become impatient and perhaps emotional. Stay on the front foot by staying calm and professional.
  • Be clear: Don’t be vague. Get your message across and make sure it’s understood.