Whether at work, at home or in a social situation, good written and verbal communication is vital in delivering information quickly and clearly. It helps avoid misunderstandings and prevent confusion and time wasting. With the increased use of technology in human interaction, our written and, in particular, verbal communication skills can sometimes suffer. Yet these skills are so important in our everyday lives.
Time is Money
Effective comminication is especially relevant in the workplace, where “time is money.” The more time wasted because of insufficient or inaccurate information being passed between colleagues, the more money a business will lose. For example, a lack of detail in a brief could mean a designer having to redo the whole design, doubling the amount of time needed to complete the task.
When conveying information, you expect the person or people you are addressing to understand precisely what you mean. Yet, more often than not, some confusion or misinterpretation can lead to an inaccurate reading. For instance, if a surgeon gave unclear instructions during a serious operation, the consequences could be fatal.
Without the help of body language and vocal intonation to guide us, written communication, particularly in an informal sense, is open to a reader’s interpretation, which can lead to huge misunderstandings. An increasing number of us rely on emails, text messages and instant messenger tools to communicate. This lack of personalization that means we need to think carefully about how our messages will be perceived. While you might intend something as a joke, another person could read it and take it literally. Poor written or verbal communication can lead not only to a distortion of the facts, but also of your thoughts and intentions.
In a professional environment, the clearer and more concise you are in your written and verbal communication, the more proficient you will seem. If a letter is badly worded or if you give a seemingly unplanned and disjointed presentation, it might appear that you have not taken the matter seriously, and you could therefore seem unprofessional. By getting your point across in as few words as possible and speaking with clarity and projection, you will demonstrate that you are a good communicator who knows your subject well.
Part of being able to communicate well, especially verbally, is having confidence in what you are saying. If you hesitate and mumble when you speak or, worse, say something untrue for the sake of answering a question, then you will not effectively relay your viewpoint or instructions. If you don’t appear to believe in what you are saying, then how can you expect anyone else to?