Communication is simply defined as the process through which information is disseminated from one person to another. There has to be a sender and a receiver for there to be an effective communication (Cosgrove & Patterson 2000). There are two types of communication.
This is when people send messages by word of mouth. The two groups of people, the sender, and the receiver must use the same language to understand one another. The sender must also be eloquent for the receiver to be able to understand the message.
This is a type of communication that does not involve the use of words from the mouth (Sutton 2005). There are various ways used to send nonverbal messages, body language, environmental and personal space.
The above skills are essential in the workplace. A lot of time and money has been invested by employers to sensitize their employees on the importance of proper communication. There are four main reasons why many organizations emphasize the importance of effective communication.
Effective communication in the workplace will help build trust. Through proper communication, workers of the organization will be able to co-exist harmoniously while reducing unnecessary competition (Cosgrove & Patterson 2000). This will enable the organization to realize high productivity.
Helps with diversity
An organization is made up of people having different cultural practices. They have different social and cultural believes that can only be addressed through proper communication. This will help minimize the misunderstandings between the employees while also increasing productivity (Sutton 2005).
Boosting employee morale
Many people assume that a good wage is the only way to boost an employee’s morale. However, an employee working in an organization where information is flowing smoothly will feel motivated. Good communication will increase the job satisfaction of the employees.
The world is becoming a global village with the help of technology and communication. The organization has to constantly communicate with overseas customers and partners (May 2007). The organization needs to encourage its employees to learn other languages and cultures to be able to effectively communicate with clients and partners overseas.
There are various skills used to communicate in the workplace. Presentation and persuasive writing are some of the examples of communication skills used in the workplace. However, listening skills are important for effective communication in an organization.
Listening skills are important in any workplace. This is the most practiced communication skill in workplaces. It is an art that people take time to perfect.
There are various reasons why listening skills are important in many organizations.
There are many stakeholders in an organization. They include customers, workers, and the owners of the business. For the organization to be successful there has to be effective communication between these stakeholders. These stakeholders have to be listening to the ideas and suggestions of one another. To effectively do this, they need to adopt active listening skills. It does not need a lot of effort to gain these skills (Cosgrove & Patterson 2000).
To gain more knowledge one has to be a good listener. Research has shown that knowledge can be passed verbally from one person to another (Sutton 2005). Organizations at times hold seminars where speakers are invited to motivate and improve the productivity of the employees. Here, the employees have to listen keenly to the speaker. Knowledge acquired from these seminars will then be applied in the day-to-day activities of the employees.
It is also important for workers of any organization to be able to listen keenly to their customers. This will help the organization come up with tailor-made products and services that will satisfy the needs of their customers. Customers will occasionally give their opinion about a certain product or service that the organization offers. It is important to listen carefully then communicate the information to the concerned parties. A customer will be happy if the management responds to his or her complaints.
In the workplace, employees are given orders by their managers. These orders are to be followed to the latter (May 2007). For an employee to follow the instructions given to them, they have to understand these instructions. This will lead to the successful completion of the task with no mistakes.
To boost the relationship between clients and employees, the employees of an organization will need to be good listeners. The customer will be amazed by the employee’s interpretation skills. This can lead to repeat sales, therefore, increasing the returns of the organization.
Good listening skills will help an employee comprehend information and ask for clarification where the sender of the message might have not been clear. This will help the employees deal with both the customers and the management of the organization (Sutton 2005). An employee with good listening skills is better placed to assist a client after carefully listening to the client’s concerns. The employee will then be able to solve the problem. The employee will then communicate these concerns to the management.
Improve relations with fellow workmates
Good listening skills will help foster good working relations in an organization. Employees will learn to listen to one another. By listening to one another they will be able to achieve the organization’s goals since will be able to learn a lot from one another. Research has shown that employees learn vital information from one another in the workplace (Sutton 2005). The people who have been in the organization for a long time will pass knowledge to the employees who have recently joined the organization. This will help them adapt quickly to the organization’s culture.
Tips for being a good listener
To be a good listener one should make sure they listen carefully to the person speaking. Make sure you avoid any kind of distraction as it will hinder you from listening to the speaker’s main points. It is important to allow the speaker to finish talking before you can engage them in any conversation. You must take the main ideas from the speaker (May 2007). Lastly, ask questions where the speaker may not have been clear.
Communication skills are important in any organization. They help the employees of the organization understand the clients and the management better. This will help them achieve organizational goals. Listening skills are important in acquiring knowledge that can be used to solve the various problems an organization might be facing. It is therefore important for organizations to ensure their workforce knows the importance of good listening skills. The importance of this cannot be undermined. The gains are evident as we have seen above. For any organization to be successful, effective listening skills have to be practiced in the workplace.
Cosgrove, J. M., & Patterson, C. J. (2000). Listening Skills. Developmental Psychology, 13(6), 557-564.
May, S. (2007). Communication Skills. Veterinary Record, 160(7), 243-243.
Sutton, R. (2005). Honing Communication Skills In The Workplace. In Practice, 27(5), 272-274.