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10 Tools to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace

10 Tools to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace

Investing time and energy into the development of your communication skills is one of the best investments you can make as a professional. This is because strong communication skills make it significantly easier to do everyday activities in the workplace and in business. Things such as giving instructions, securing buy-in, proposing ideas, resolving conflicts, leading meetings, and establishing strong working relationships.

Fortunately, we’ve curated a list of 10 tools to improve your communication skills in the workplace. Some of these tools are entirely free and may take you only 15 minutes to review, while others at your disposal that lead to more substantial gains in skill, such as communication training, will require a more serious commitment in terms of time and money. It is good to have a mix of both communication tools in your toolbox as it allows you to consistently improve, regardless of what stage you’re at in the process.

 

10 Tools to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace

  1. Individual Development Plan Template
  2. Communication Skills Courses
  3. One-on-One Professional Coaching
  4. Communication Style Quiz
  5. The 9 Signs of Bad Communication at Work Guide
  6. Presentation Checklist
  7. The Inspire Podcast
  8. TED Talks Communication Playlist
  9. Difficult Conversations Checklist
  10. Accountability Partner Worksheet

 

Tool #1: Individual Development Plan Template

Anytime you have a specific professional development goal, you should chart your course of action using an individual development plan template. This tool will prompt you to break the lofty goal of becoming an effective communicator into more manageable steps. Not only that, it will also have you define what resources you need, set a priority level, and create a timeline for each specific goal. All of this ensures that you approach the development of your communication skills in a thoughtful manner and reduces the risk of wasting your time or running in circles. It is for this reason that it is first on this list of tools you can use to improve your communication skills.

 

Tool #2: Communication Skills Courses

Communication skills courses are one of the most popular tools you can use as a professional to accelerate your development. You will find that different courses will either teach you about communication in the workplace in general or target a specific communication skill. For example, Niagara Institute’s best-selling Speaking as a Leader program focuses specifically on leadership communication. Which course is best for you will depend on your personal development goals, as well as your schedule, budget, and learning style preferences.

 

Tool #3: One-on-One Professional Coaching

Where do you turn when your communication skills are causing problems at work? While communication skills courses can help, frequently, professionals need personalized support to address those issues. Fortunately, one-on-one coaching exists for this very reason. It allows you to work one-on-one with an experienced coach to pinpoint the root cause of issues, identify communication skills gaps, learn new techniques, and optimize your approach in a safe, judgment-free environment.

 

Tool #4: Communication Style Quiz

In any workplace, you will find four major communication styles: passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive, and assertive. Everyone has a natural tendency to lean towards one style more so than another. Do you know which is yours? If not, this Communication Style Quiz and explainer blog is a must-read tool to improve your communication skills.

 

Tool #5: The 9 Signs of Bad Communication at Work Guide

Do you know what the hallmarks of bad communication in the workplace are? Are you falling victim to any of them yourself? It’s impossible to improve your communication skills if you don’t know what to improve or fix first. Fortunately, Bad Communication in the Workplace: Is the Way You Communicate Helping or Hindering You?, is a free PDF guide that will help you do that.

 

Tool #6: Presentation Checklist

One communication skill that causes a lot of stress and anxiety is presentations and public speaking. While this is understandable, it doesn’t have to be so stressful or anxiety-inducing. In fact, tools such as this Presentation Checklist can help as it breaks down exactly what you need to do before, during, and after a presentation to ensure success.

 

Tool #7: The Inspire Podcast

The Inspire Podcast is hosted by Niagara Institute’s content partner, The Humphrey Group. Each episode involves a conversation with a guest about what it means to be a great communicator and leader in today’s workplace. Guests come from all walks of life and industries, and new episodes are released on a bi-weekly basis, so there’s always something new to learn.

 

Tool #8: TED Talks Communication Video Playlist

One of the great things about this curated playlist of TED Talks is that it’s a completely free tool that will help you improve your communication skills, often in less than an hour. Plus, you’ll find that nearly every facet of communication in the workplace is covered by an eclectic mix of authors, journalists, psychologists, executives, actors, and more.

 

Tool #9: Difficult Conversations Checklist

No matter what your title is, what company you work at, or what industry you work in, you’re going to encounter your fair share of difficult conversations. Fortunately, this checklist from the book, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, is one tool you can use to improve your communication skills in that particular area.

 

Tool #10: Accountability Partner Workbook

An underrated tool you can use to improve your communication skills is an accountability partner. This is someone who holds you accountable, helps you stay on track, acts as a sounding board, and supports you in times of need. Whether you ask your coworker, boss, or friend to be your accountability partner, use this workbook to clarify what exactly you need from them in order to achieve your goal of becoming a better communicator.

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