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How To Improve Remote Working Communication Skills 1

How To Improve Remote Working Communication Skills

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us took to remote working. And one of the biggest problems with remote work is the clarity of communication. Over 70% of all the remote workforce we surveyed felt they need to focus on communication and presentation skills in an increasingly remote world.

It’s funny that communicating is something we do every day, in person, in writing, over the phone, on social media. Yet, most of us are not even thinking about all the interactions we have – we’re simply just doing it. And most of the time without much coaching. Sometimes we can’t seem to re-create someone else’s state of mind. This explains the difficulty in sharing things with our colleagues in a way that makes sense to them.

Virtually coordinating with your team and getting work done can be challenging. The regular office camaraderie may not be there. Distractions are aplenty, in the absence of an office environment. Briefs over phone calls and texts may lead to gaps in what is communicated. Effective communication not only allows us to eliminate such barriers but also helps to set smart expectations. It also helps us in knowing where our help is needed at the moment and how we can contribute to the growth of the organization. Improved communication will help you become a better team player.

Being a great communicator means having an ability to get your point across in a way that lands with others, and influences outcomes. It doesn’t mean you have to be an excellent orator or speak in a jargon-laden language. It means that you can connect with people, interact with them, and encourage them to take action. What this means for you is that you can create a stress-free work environment for your team and yourself, with reduced resentment and friction. Your communication can be respected and trusted, resulting in greater self-confidence.

So How Does One Become A Better Communicator?

It takes deliberation and practice to communicate effectively. Follow these 8 simple tips to hone your communication skills:

1. Empathize, Listen & Stay Focused

Applying knowledge is real power. The more you know about what your audience thinks and perceives, the more you will connect and engage with them. Listening is the most important activity to develop empathy. Having empathy helps your audience place their confidence in you. When you get an opportunity to speak your mind to a coworker or a family member, begin by describing what you see or hear in a situation rather than what your opinion is about it. Be specific, and don’t generalize or exaggerate.

2. Know When To Speak

Bring context to your messages by talking about the current situation. Bring up a particular topic and find a common perspective. Is it even the right time to bring it up? Find answers to important events by bringing up issues at the right time. Prioritize your efforts and be in sync with the collective communication of your team.

3. Set Your Bottom Line

This helps to say no. When you set expectations straight you have communicated your purpose. Once you are confident about what you want to do, clear communication helps you plan efforts, collectively. This ensures that you do not waste anybody’s time, including yours.

4. Explain Like They’re 5

Keep your language simple. When you want to stay to the point, and not get into digressing topics, you have to mind the words you use. You can do this by imagining that you are having topical discussions with a child. This also removes the curse of knowledge – assuming that your audience possesses knowledge on the subject you brought up.

5. Express Non-verbally

Learn easy ways to boost your confidence with your body language. This includes:

  • Firm postures
  • Fluid arm and hand movement
  • Expressive facial expressions
  • Maintaining personal space

A good body language includes an upright posture, bright facial expressions, relevant hand gestures. You can positively use this to add strength to your verbal message. It can feel unbelievably tempting to bring up complaints or issues from the past. Maybe you’ve accumulated a long list of reasons for your concerns or maybe your outrage, but don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Don’t cause distress by giving out signals of harm, fear, or malice. Stay calm and compose your thoughts about the entire situation.

6. Stay Assertive

Asserting means to fix the point of your message firmly. Being assertive is often confused by people as being aggressive. However, they are not the same. Being aggressive might work for sports teams on the offense, but it seldom works when you’re speaking to someone. Assertiveness could be a valuable communication skill because it allows you to express your opinions on firm grounds while not bullying others. Assertive people are also less stressed because they feel empowered to say “no” to tasks and responsibilities that aren’t necessary.

7. Over-communicate

In “The Secrets of Dynamic Communications,” author, speaker, and comedian Ken Davis says that all communications are about persuading or enabling. You may either be explaining a way to do something or why it’s necessary. Once you recognize which one it is, you’ve got the focus to get clear. Pay attention to your own reactivity when you are engaging in a difficult conversation. Reaching a decision or compromise might take multiple conversations, so don’t hesitate to take a break to feel calmer and more in control if you feel anger or alternative emotions grabbing for the steering wheel. Come back, and talk about it with curiosity and continuity.

8. Use The Right Tools

In a co-located office facility, you can call the team around for a meeting and steer everyone on track. In a remote team, you’ll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them. Find the right tools and achieve productivity with this remote working guide. While the exact tools aren’t super important, you likely need a useful tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote work successful.

Now, What Will You Do?

To have the success you’d like in your career and to be the kind of leader you are capable of being.

  • Take some time to notice how you communicate
  • Give yourself space and time to think
  • Practice your craft purposefully
  • Invest in yourself

Being a great communicator pays off tremendously when it involves your career advancement and success in all areas of life. It also helps you excel at remote interviews. If you are looking for opportunities to accelerate your career remotely, consider signing up for Talent 500. A talent discovery platform for Fortune 500 companies and top MNCs.

Bhavik Shah

Bhavik Shah

Copywriter at Talent500. Connecting two sides of a message. For meditation, mediation and media attention. Loves trivia quizzes, and the great outdoors.

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