Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills (Excerpts from “Navigating Conversations in the Workplace”)

BookBoon.com published “Navigating Conversations in the Workplace”, a practical guide to everyday improved communication at an interpersonal, team and organisational level, in December 2016 (bookboon.com/navigating-conversations-in-the-workplace). The book proposes and details a communication map exemplified by real life stories and best practices, while also offering hints and tips to communicate successfully. In the following post we’ll focus on a self-assessment tool and on tips to improve your communication skills through guiding questions.

The self-assessment questionnaire below enlists the main elements of the communication map introduced by “Navigating Conversations in the Workplace”. Give yourself scores for each component, and then take a moment to reflect on your own communication style. Please mark the number that best describes your current behaviour in communicating, for all your relationships, both professional and personal.

Communication Skills Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Self-Awareness (Having good knowledge about your character and feelings)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Assertiveness (Acting self-confidently and not being afraid to say what you want or believe)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Dealing with Emotions (Having empathy for self and others; avoid using anger as a communication tool)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Integrity and Values (Behaving according to own and company values, trustworthy, walk the talk)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Listening and Acknowledgment (Being present and attentive, not interrupting, acknowledging the positive)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Sharing (Interacting well socially, while being willing to share knowledge and ideas, time, talent and resources, as well as feelings)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Influence in Interpersonal Communication (Finding common ground, making appreciative requests, being consistent, reciprocating)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Giving and Receiving Recognition (Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you”)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Building Trust with Stakeholders (Knowing and understanding your stakeholders and their expectations from you, accepting feedback and other people’s suggestions)

0 _____________________________________ 10

Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills: What Next?

Once you have completed the self-assessment, take a look at your scores and areas for development and ask yourself the following questions. Your answers will also offer you tips to improve your communication skills:

  • What particular score has significance for you?
  • What score would you like to increase?
  • What would be the benefit of higher scores for you?
  • What about costs when scores are low?
  • What do you need to do to improve any of the below mentioned competencies?
  • What is the smallest step you can take right now to make it happen?

For a better understanding and more tips to improve your communication skills, please see “Navigating Conversations in The Workplace”. Chapters include definitions, explanation, and hints & tips for self-awareness, assertiveness, dealing with emotions, integrity and values, listening, acknowledgement, influence and persuasion, giving and receiving recognition, building trust with stakeholders, and sharing.

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