When the world locked down, those who transitioned to working from home assumed it would be work as normal, just not in the usual workplace. Many also thought their work would return to the office – once the pandemic had waned.
But here we are, two and half years later, and data projections show that 25 percent of all jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.
While this is good news for many, a virtual workplace presents unique challenges. Gone are the chance opportunities to strike up a conversation in the breakroom, ask a quick question in the hallway, or run an idea past someone who happens to be nearby. Instead, you communicate with a narrow group of coworkers, and a call – or even an email – can feel intrusive.
So, now that we have fewer opportunities for informal communication, how can you make your interactions as effective as possible?
Experts Say the “New Normal” and Communication Will Be Far More Tech Driven in 2025
What is the new normal? Now that we aren’t sharing the same four walls with our coworkers, many are turning to tech-driven communication when interacting with our colleagues and customers. At the beginning of the pandemic, most businesses relied on Zoom to keep business going. However, in 2022, the most popular communication platform is Slack.
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So, whether you are currently in the office and utilizing “normal communication” methods (such as face-to-face interaction and email) or working remotely and dependent on Zoom, Slack or another virtual or direct messaging platform, here are tips on how to be a great communicator in the workplace.
Become Better at Old and New Communication Methods
Many of the skills you possess can be transferred to new communication platforms. For example, if you are a good writer, use those skills when writing shorter, faster messages on Slack or another direct messaging platform. And if you are a skilled presenter, you can learn how to command the Zoom screen.
But perhaps you have always struggled to communicate your ideas through oral or written means. Unfortunately, this may have been detrimental to your professional and personal life. The good news is that there is always room for improvement. With a positive outlook and a growth mindset, you can become a better communicator through education and practice.
We at Pryor Learning are prepared to give you the training you need to become a better communicator. But first, here are some general tips for becoming a better writer and speaker.
General Tips for Effective Written Communication
Do you communicate with your team through email or direct messaging? Try to remember the skills your English teacher taught you. Here are some other helpful tips for effective written communication in the workplace.
- Re-read your messages before you hit send.
- Check for grammar errors. (Consider using Grammarly. It’s a paid subscription, but it’s worth every penny.)
- Consider the tone of the message; keep friendly and upbeat. Remember the new rules for written communication – using all caps is the same as yelling. The same goes for exclamation points.
- Avoid generalities – especially when giving instructions.
- Use lists and bullet points.
- Use bold to emphasize deadlines and other important dates.
- Keep it simple.
General Tips for Effective Verbal Communication
Conveying a friendly, agreeable attitude is more challenging in the new normal. So pay extra attention to how you come across. Here are strategies for in-person meetings, Zoom, Teams or Google Meet.
- Check your vocal tone. Do you sound interested or bored? Judgmental or supportive?
- Smile, nod and make eye contact more than usual when you’re on camera.
- Check-in with people to reiterate action items and build relationships. The new normal can leave people feeling isolated, unheard and misunderstood.
- Be fully in the moment when interacting virtually. Eliminate distractions so everyone can concentrate on the task at hand.
- Turn on your camera before the call. Check for clutter, glare, and lighting issues that could detract from the conversation.
- Remove anything that might take your attention off the discussion. People can tell when your mind is elsewhere. You wouldn’t play on your phone or work on something else if you were all in the same room, so don’t do these things when you are meeting virtually.
- Make as much eye contact as possible.
- Modulate your voice to get your intentions across.
- Choose your words carefully so you say exactly what you mean.
- Speak up and articulate clearly.
- Check for understanding.
- Repeat and rephrase.
- Use hand signals and nodding to let people know they have it right.
Excellent communication skills are vital whether you are in the office, using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, or messaging your coworkers via Slack.
How Pryor Learning Can Help You Become a Better Communicator
We’ve provided you with general tips on improving your communication skills. However, if you are dedicated to becoming a better communicator, you need a complete toolbox of techniques and skills. Here’s how Pryor Learning can help.
No matter how good of a communicator you think you are, there is always room for improvement. Here are four courses from Pryor Learning that will make you feel more confident when presenting on a virtual platform or hitting send on an email.
Mastering Communication Skills with Tact and Confidence
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73% of employers prefer candidates with strong communication skills. Communicating tactfully and professionally can help you get your dream job and build strong, positive working relationships.
Whether you are a reserved introvert or an unfiltered extrovert, you can learn to refine your communication and social intelligence. This one-hour downloadable webinar will equip you with the skills to manage communication with more confidence, agility and assertiveness.
Active Listening Skills to Improve Communication
It’s not intuitive, but good listeners make better managers and more successful sales associates. Those using active listening skills are more likely to influence others, reduce conflict and increase productivity while improving their retention of information.
In this one-hour webinar, you’ll learn actionable tips, including:
- six steps to active listening
- actions that encourage active listening
- how to hear the speaker’s “unsaid” intentions
How to Avoid Bad Communication Habits
Are you getting passed over for promotions, or do you have a challenging time relating to friends or colleagues? One reason may be your communication skills.
This seminar teaches easy and memorable tricks to help get your point across and communicate clearly—no matter your communication style. The course is relevant for the current workplace – as you will learn to present your ideas clearly and persuasively through email, chats, Zoom or face-to-face communication.
You’ll learn bad communication habits to avoid while using new strategies for effective presentations. After taking this course, you’ll become:
- An active listener
- Better able to build rapport with others
- A more confident public speaker
- More professional in your written communication skills
- Aware of your body language
This live online seminar can also be brought to your location to train your entire team at the same time. Visit the Pryor Learning website to schedule this in-person training at your workplace.
How to Become a Great Communicator
You may be ready to take your communication skills to the next level. This half-day seminar from Pryor Learning teaches successful strategies for becoming a great communicator.
All forms of communication will be addressed in this seminar. Our discussion starts by learning how to make a positive first impression using a four-minute strategy. Then, you receive key techniques for effective electronic communication and learn how your body language conveys secret messages during in-person or Zoom meetings. Finally, you learn how to manage and handle difficult situations by communicating effectively.
You’ll leave this course with more confidence and better able to build a comfortable rapport with others – in the workplace and your personal life.
Take a Course and Practice Your Newly Learned Skills
Are you serious about improving your communication skills? The skilled instructors at Pryor Learning can teach you strategies and techniques. However, you must become an active learner to get the most out of any course – as taking a class on effective communication will not magically make you better at communicating.
Participate in the course. Review what you learned after completing the class, and then practice your newly discovered skills. You’ll be amazed at how your life can change with knowledge and practice.
Pryor Learning can help you in other areas of your professional life. Learn how to supervise people, bargain and negotiate with vendors, and empower your employees in our leadership training courses. Learn more about accounting by taking a course to help you better understand financial statements.
Pryor Learning has helped 13+ million learners achieve their goals. Pryor Learning offers training and educational opportunities for individuals and teams in person and online. Our training courses are in twenty different business categories, and we can help your employees earn their NASBA, PMI, HRCI and SHRM continuing education credits.
Learn how to become a more effective communicator or learn other needed skills by taking a course with Pryor Learning.