From casual social media communications to complex global communications, being clear is the key to being successful.

Communication keeps the world running. Without it, we would be unable to relate to one another, let alone work with one another. And yet, poor communication is a constant problem in business.

Are you part of the problem, or do you communicate well? Here are some ways you can tell.

Habits of Poor Communicators

If you find that colleagues often misinterpret what you’re trying to say or that customers have a habit of misunderstanding what you’re trying to sell, you may have some poor communication habits, including:

Not Listening
When others speak, don’t simply wait for them to stop so you can speak again. Pay attention to what they’re saying. That can clue you in on whether they understand you.

Losing Focus
If you talk on the phone while browsing the internet, you’re not giving the conversation enough focus. To be a clear communicator, you need to be an attentive communicator.

Qualifying Everything
To avoid sounding too aggressive or to sugarcoat bad news, many people get into the habit of using qualifiers. However, qualifiers like “I’m not sure if you agree, but” or “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but” can add unneeded confusion to what you’re trying to say or make you sound untrustworthy.

Waffling
When you communicate in a business setting, whether it’s to colleagues or customers, you do yourself a great disservice if you sound unsure of yourself or your data. The moment you tell a customer, “I think it’s got a one-year warranty—or maybe it’s a two-year warranty,” is the moment you leave them confused.

Babbling
Talking too much can be worse than not talking at all. Poor communicators often lack discipline and that can reveal itself in a tendency to go on tangents and/or keep talking long after making your point.

Habits of Good Communicators

Being a good communicator is about more than avoiding bad habits. It’s also about embracing good habits, such as:

Being Concise
If something can be said in ten words instead of twenty, then you should say it in ten. The fewer words you can use to communicate, the less room you leave for misunderstandings.

Being Polite
Good communicators know how to make people like them. And that begins by being polite. Most of the time, you can achieve politeness by following the conventions of societal courtesies. But you should also make sure you understand your audience’s particular preferences for behavior and speech so you can avoid anything that might personally offend them or make them uncomfortable.

Being Prepared
In business, every time you communicate, you should have a goal for that communication and a strategy for reaching the goal.

Being Aware
Is your audience understanding what you’re trying to say? Good communicators pay attention to the response they’re receiving and adjust as necessary. Being aware can be as straightforward as reading a room during a presentation, or it can be more complex, such as knowing how to conduct research into a marketing campaign’s effectiveness.

Being Available
Communication is a two-way street and the best communicators not only plan for questions and feedback, they enjoy it. After all, it can be the most valuable part of any communication.

How Can You Become a Better Communicator?

With good communication skills, you can qualify for all kinds of jobs in social media communication, organizational communication, digital communication, and/or global communication. It’s a great career choice, but one a typical business degree might not fully prepare you for. Instead, a communication degree can be a lot more valuable, particularly a BS in Communication.

When you earn a Bachelor of Science degree in communication, you can gain the practical skills you need to advance within your current organization or to position yourself for a career in a variety of fields, including marketing, public relations, advertising, or even organizational training and development. And enrolling in a communication degree program is a lot more convenient than you might think.

Thanks to online education, you can now earn a bachelor’s right from home or from anywhere else you have internet access. On top of that, attending your communication classes won’t require you to rearrange your schedule. Instead, online learning lets you choose when in the day you attend class, making it possible for you to keep up with your degree while continuing to work full time.

With so many communication technologies now in regular use, and with the continuing need for old-fashioned face-to-face business communications, good communicators are needed throughout the business world. With a BS in Communication, you can put yourself in position to qualify for some of the best communication jobs.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a BS in Communication degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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