Think you’re great at communicating? Recent studies show that you might be wrong. According to PayScale, 46% of managers feel that recent graduates lack communication skills, and 44% feel that recent graduates lack clear writing skills. The difference between how graduates see themselves and how employers see graduates is frightening to say the least, and suggests that perhaps graduates aren’t gaining necessary experience while in school.
How you can brush up on your skills
Make sure that you communicate with your peers, managers, and colleagues to ensure that you’re all on the same page and nothing gets lost in translation. This will not only make your work more synchronized, but it will additionally promote respect and understanding. We’re all human and understand that unexpected events or situations arise, however if you don’t clearly communicate what you’re dealing with and feeling, people will not know and understand. If you don’t make your feelings and your situation clear, no one will be able to help.
Define your goals, priorities, and tasks
One of the best ways to clearly communicate with your peers is to define what you want to accomplish on your own, then relay this information to others. Do a self-assessment and figure out your priorities and tasks for the day, then build from there. Make an outline or a to-do list so you can clearly see what’s on your plate. Once you have figured out what you need to accomplish and how to prioritize each task, you can communicate this plan with others. You can also use applications like Trello to keep organized and keep team members up to date on your progress.
Remember that communication is a two way street
While communicating what you need from others is critical, remember that you need to ask others what they need as well. One of the downfalls many people have when it comes to communication is that they forget to ask what is needed of them. You might be communicating your needs to others, but don’t assume that others are doing the same.
Be sure to ask what is needed of you, what tasks need to be accomplished, and what deadlines need to be made. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all bases are covered. If you know someone is notorious for changing the plan without communicating, get the information in writing. Send an email asking for specifics or timeline information. That way if something does change without being clearly communicated, you can refer back to the email to show the exact information you received.
No one should have to hunt you down
You never want someone to feel as though they have to hunt you down. If you want to cultivate relationships and establish trust, communicate clearly and in a timely manner. If someone feels as though they have to hunt you down to get an answer, they more than likely won’t want to work with you. Be the one to follow through with them! Follow up to a conversation, send a quick reminder for a meeting, or send an email with highlights from your previous phone call. If someone can see your reliability, this will help establish you as a reputable source and a good communicator.
Between social media, smart phones, and all the latest technology, millennials are often stereotyped for being completely connected, yet almost half of managers feel that recent graduates can’t clearly communicate. This statistic will make you rethink your communication skills, and make you want to be a better communicator. Make communication a priority, and it will help you stay on top of your tasks while also improving your reputation at work.
A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.