Developing Effective Communication Skills in the Workplace

communication

Have you ever gotten misunderstood by people or have you ever unintentionally hurt someone because of what you’ve said? Well, it happens to the best of us.

It becomes even more complicated though if it happens in the workplace. It is essential that we develop a healthy and effective communication skill especially at work. It’s not even about changing who you are but more of learning how to deliver your intended message well. So here are some tips on how you can develop and train more your communication skills and finally get your real message across!

reading book

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First things first, work on the delivery of your verbal communication. Feel like you need to improve your grammar or pronunciation? Try reading out loud and watching movies (depending on which language you’re practicing) and repeating after the character.  Also, listening and observing a lot is also imperative for this. Learn how others communicate and maybe you’ll learn from them too. This first tip may sound pretty common but trust me, misunderstanding happens a lot because of this. Even Proverbs 15:31 says, “Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.” It is never wrong to admit what you lack and then try to work on it afterwards.

listen

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Listening is better than just merely hearing what people are saying. In the first tip, listening was essential to learn how other people communicate well; while in this case, listening is important so that you’ll have a better understanding as to what other people are trying to tell you. Proverbs 18:13 even said, “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.” Communication isn’t a one-way stream; it goes both ways. As a matter of fact Proverbs 10:19 also said, “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues;” which means that having so much to say doesn’t necessarily equate to being a good communicator. Again… Listen.

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Practice on improving your non-verbal communication. It’s not just verbal communication that matters. Non-verbal communication also says a lot! Try to be more sensitive about other people’s non-verbal communication signals. Proverbs 15:28 even said, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.” Observe facial expressions, gestures, body movements, eye contacts, etc. It’s not about being a psychic and knowing exactly what the other person is thinking but more of knowing when things are getting awkward, when the person you’re communicating with is scared or sad, or how you can improve how confidently you can look just by using the right non-verbal gestures. Just like what Proverbs 15:23 said, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!

confident

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And the most redundant of all, tips but also matters A LOT, be honest and confident. Proverbs 12:22 even said, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in peoprom Proverbs 14:25, “A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.” That’s why we should stop going around in circles and just tell people what they need to hear not what they want. And I guess you should have also known by now that CONFIDENCE MATTERS especially at work. If you want to be a leader, show that you are confident enough about your skills. Remember, a leader may have to be a good follower but you also have to let people know that you are good enough to make decisions and handle bigger responsibilities.

Aside from these tips, let me also share with you some verses which talks about the power of words:

On why we should be careful of what comes out of our lips:

  • James 3:6-8, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body…
  • Proverbs 11:9, “With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape…”
  • Proverbs 18:8, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

On the positive effects of choosing our words:

  • Proverbs 25:11, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.”
  • Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
  • Proverbs 10:20-21, “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value…

On using words with evil intentions:

  • Proverbs 12:18, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
  • Proverbs 15:4, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

What we say and how we say things always matters. According to Proverbs 15:4, “the soothing tongue is a tree of life…” Which means that if we will be able to effectively communicate to our colleagues, we can increase motivation and productivity since we were able to deliver the right words, in the right way, and at the right time.

We are constantly reminded to always guard our lips (Proverbs 13:3) because remember, the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34).


PERRY PAZ is one of the working board members of LIGHT and currently its ISG (Institutional Support Group) Director.

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