The one cardinal rule that I think everyone should embrace is what I call communicating with heart. So often today, office workers rarely get up and walk over to a colleague's desk to engage in face-to-face communication.
When was the last time you were at a networking event? How many people did you approach? How many contacts did you make? Anybody can learn how to network, but real networking involves so much more than just 'turning up'.
Most of us are around people in our workplace five days a week for eight hours a day. That’s a long time. In that case, do you really think it is enough to simply tolerate all the people you work with?
Communication is all about bringing people together and understanding each other. With so many different people and personalities in our workplace, it's no wonder there's sometimes conflict. If conflict is not handled constructively and positively, the results could be very damaging. But it doesn't need to be that way.
In this era of Facebook, Twitter and email, crucial face-to-face communication skills have been lost or put aside indefinitely. There has been a sharp decline in face-to-face communication in favour of instant contact overload. Because of this, people are losing vital opportunities to connect and network.
In your career, you will encounter many difficult situations that will test your resolve. Situations can include: conflict with colleagues, a less than supportive boss, customer complaints, increased workloads, promotion rejection, or through making a simple error of judgment. In business, things will not always go smoothly, and there are a multitude of obstacles and challenges to overcome.
In verbal communication, we can often quite easily understand how sincere the speaker is. That's because we actually have an instrument – our voices – that can convey the nuances of meaning. Sincerity, or the lack thereof, can also come through quite easily in the written word, too, whether we want it to or not.
Visualise it: you're in a meeting, discussing the budget for the Security Division. You begin to state your idea regarding an issue with cyber security, "The biggest problem I see is..." and suddenly the gentleman down the table interrupts, "Yes! The biggest problem is the way the pens and pencils in the storeroom keep disappearing.
It used to be that people only needed to sharpen their communication skills for phone conversations and face-to-face appearances. For many, these scenarios were bad enough, especially public speaking. Nowadays, even in small groups and one-to-one settings, effective communication is getting tougher.
Communication is the heart of every organisation. Everything you do in the workplace results from communication. Therefore good reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are essential if tasks are going to be completed and goals achieved.