Whether you’re a supervisor, junior member of the team or senior manager, verbal communication occurs between many different individuals and situations.
This means your communication skills need to be good. If you’re applying for a job, you’ll know soft skills like verbal communication are highly desirable, but what is actually meant by good verbal communication skills?
Let’s start from the beginning…
Verbal Communication Skills: Definition and Importance in the Workplace
Verbal communication doesn’t just mean speaking effectively, it focuses on how you deliver and receive messages. Verbal communication can occur in many different workplace scenarios, such as presentations, meetings (virtual or face-to-face), interviews, sales pitches – the list can go on.
Those who can act appropriately and respond to verbal messages clearly and concisely have a better chance of excelling in their role and team.
Strong verbal communication holds lots of power in the workplace, not just for individuals, but for teams and the organisation. For example, productivity is likely to increase if verbal communication is improved, interdepartmental communication will be more effective, and employees are more likely to knowledge share because of greater internal communications across the organisation.
Good Verbal Communication Skills in the Workplace
What defines “good” verbal communication skills? There’s no set definition, but if you’re able to listen to others, communicate your message, opinions and ideas with impact, show awareness of others in conversation and use empathy, it’s likely your verbal communication skills are on the right track to success.
But, how do you know if your verbal communication skills are actually effective? If you worry that your verbal communication skills are lacking or not being understood in the way you intend, here’s three signs to look out for…
- People get defensive or aggressive when they speak to you – ineffective communication can cause frustration and can often result in simple conversations turning into confrontation or negativity quickly. If this is the case, you may find people avoiding you or making interactions with you as short as possible to avoid any miscommunication and understandings that could be interpreted the wrong way.
- Collaborative goals are missed – often when we speak, we have a goal in mind that we want to achieve. Ineffective communication blocks any potential progress that could have been made in that time, this causes more frustration, and you may find that people leave conversations with you more confused or unsure of the purpose and next steps to take to move forward.
- Misunderstandings between what is said and what is heard – listening is a key part of effective verbal communication skills, instead of waiting for a conversation to be over, listen to what they’re saying and use non-verbal communication to signal that you are engaged with them. It’s also easy to make assumptions about people, their words and language they use, but having negative assumptions during a conversation can disrupt what is actually being said and the benefits it could have on your working relationship.
Where Does Non-Verbal Communication Skills Fit in?
Here’s a quick breakdown (this might be surprising to some):
According to Smarp, 7% of communication is verbal, 38% is tone of voice and inflection and 55% is body language. This means a massive 93% of communication is non-verbal. That’s a big difference.
You might be wondering why we just rambled on about what good verbal communication means and how important it is, but both parts of verbal and non-verbal communication fit together and are equally important.
Non-verbal communication includes things like body language, facial expressions, eye contact and tone of voice. The ability to understand non-verbal signs is an impactful and impressive skill to master.
Let’s give you a scenario…
Maybe you’re working with someone who uses non-assertive behaviours, someone who doesn’t say what they really mean or want. By having strong non-verbal skills will allow you to visually see and learn more about that person, build a relationship with them or meet challenging situations.
By pairing together strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills, you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for effective communication in any situation.
Improving your Verbal Communication Skills
Get rid of miscommunication and frustration when it comes to communication. It might not happen overnight, but there are simple ways to improve your verbal communication skills for the workplace.
To give you a snapshot, here’s two proven techniques that you can apply in the workplace to improve your verbal communication…
- Practice active listening – learn how to improve and understand the benefits of this important skill.
- Be more aware of your body language and non-verbal cues. Read more about why body language is important in communication.
Now you know what is really meant by good verbal communication skills and how you can tell if your verbal communication is lacking, learn more on how to improve communication skills in the workplace and continuously develop them within your organisation.
Take your Verbal Communication to the Next Level
Whether you want to improve your communication in a hybrid working environment, understand how to negotiate more effectively or speak with more impact, secure your place on one (or two) of our verbal communication courses to get started.