Being able to communicate effectively in the workplace is vital to a business’ success. Building relationships, trust and connections are all significant pieces that are essential to having a strong organization. There are several different factors that aid in successful communication. Believe it or not, communication is a lot more than just what you are saying, how you listen plays a huge role as well. Here are some practical steps to start applying to your everyday communication, and some reasons why effective communication is so important! Active Listening: This is how you take in information from an individual or group. This skill is in high demand by employers and can also be a helpful tool during your interviewing process. Active listening involves paying attention to the conversation, not interrupting, and taking the time to understand what the speaker is discussing. Being “active” involves taking steps to draw out details that might not otherwise be shared. Effective Questions: Asking effective questions provides you with insight that you can receive about the situation at hand. Answers will also reassure you that you’re being helpful, even if you don’t feel like you are doing much by simply asking questions. Asking questions in general shows someone you are listening and care about what they have to say. Body Language: This is non-verbal communication that includes your posture, gestures, and the movements you make. It’s just as vital as verbal communication but it’s usually something we don’t think about when we’re talking or presenting. This includes a huge effective communication component, eye contact. Looking directly at your business partner, employee, partner, whomever it may be, plays a significant role in demonstrating to them that you are listening and are interested in what they are communicating with you. Empathy: Being able to understand the feelings of those around you is a crucial part of being an effective communicator. Empathizing is both relating and understanding to someone else’s feeling. Having high emotional intelligence and demonstrating an ability to empathize builds rapport between you and others and increases your ability to communicate. Develop a filter: Effective communicators generally have highly developed social skills and can regulate how they express their thoughts and feelings to those around them. Developing a filter will ensure that you maintain a certain level of politeness and avoid conflict in the workplace. Benefits of these skills: Boosts Trust: When a person is actively listening and trying to understand and communicate with you, it builds trust that you are on the same team. Leaders set the standard for communication across the company, they form a positive example for team members. These examples encourage collaboration, trust, and teamwork. A trusting work environment excels when colleagues communicate openly. Customers buy from people they trust, so building trust with clients, partners, customers, will only reap benefits to the success of your business. Promotes Loyalty: Effective communication can make someone feel appreciated and valued. This feeling could result in higher work ethic because of their job satisfaction and increased loyalty. Enhances Team Member Engagement: The fundamentals of day-to-day communication are often overlooked. A business can have as many tricks up their sleeves as they see fit. Those strategies will most likely fail if communication with team members isn’t a priority. Effective communication is the backbone of strong team bonds. There should be a culture of clear, direct, kind communication to strengthen collaboration and peer relationships. Productivity: Engaged team members with a solid understanding of their roles and responsibilities are typically more productive than unengaged team members. Team members who do not fully comprehend their roles often become frustrated or unsure of their capabilities. Team members may perform their responsibilities more efficiently if the information is readily available and presented effectively. Relationships: When a company promotes effective and positive communication within their team, it often translates to the interactions with customers. Customers appreciate open and transparent communication between the two parties, which only helps build consumer trust. Effective communication can also aid in resolving issues quickly and successfully. Good communication promotes active and thoughtful listening and respectful and professional responses.