Despite the major rise in the use of technology, verbal communication is still vitally important in the workplace. Email and smartphones may make it more convenient to communicate, but sometimes only verbal communication gets the point across effectively. Verbal communication gives employers, managers and team leaders an opportunity to connect with the workforce and build rapport. While perfect communication isn't always possible, savvy and tactful verbal communication skills also smooth over disputes and help you quickly diffuse any issues as they arise.
Verbal Communication Provides Clarity
Nothing beats verbal communication. For example, many people can retain information more easily when it's presented directly to them or by watching someone in-person complete the task. During an in-person meeting or training session, participants can ask spontaneous questions, get immediate answers and fully understand the situation or task at hand.
Verbal Communication Increases Motivation
Words of appreciation from a manager boost the confidence level of employees. Hearing encouraging words from a manager seems more genuine than an impersonal email, and can increase workers' productivity. Verbal communication is the best way to let your employees feel valued and understood. That's why having regular in-person group meetings with your employees can generate team spirit and motivate your workforce. Weekly sit-downs with their co-workers encourage employees to share their concerns with leadership and each other. An in-person, "Town Hall-style" meeting also provides an opportunity for employees to learn how they can help each other in their job roles.
Verbal Communication Helps Save Time
When you assign a project to an employee, she should have a clear understanding of what is required. Giving instructions verbally, as opposed to in a memo or via email, means you can explain the brief and objectives for the project properly and clarify any sticking points before an employee begins her work. If everyone's on the same page before you start, then you shouldn't need to hold the employee's hand throughout the entire project. The employee gets more autonomy to handle the project her own way, and there are less miscommunication-related missteps along the way. This should save you both valuable time.
How to Improve Your Verbal Communication Skills
If you feel your communication skills are lacking, you can improve them by reading books about professional and personal development, or other relevant topics which expand your vocabulary and sharpen your intellect. Joining a Toastmasters group in your local area will also do wonders for your communication skills. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. You can become a more competent communicator through public speaking, courses and other advanced communicator training. Another key part of communication is listening. You should practice being a good listener since it's a key attribute in today's workplace. Nobody likes talking to someone who tunes out mid-conversation. When someone is speaking, be mindful of her eye contact, facial expressions and body language and respond in kind by letting her know you are listening, and understand what is being communicated.
Heather Burdo has been personally involved in business for six years. Her passion is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs through engaging and insightful content.