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3 Unique Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work



I am severely hearing impaired and it was not detected until I was 12 years old.

So what do I know about communication and how can it help you get the most from your workday?

Finding ways to communicate well was a daily challenge.

I learned to read lips so well that I had deceived the education system, my teachers my parents and myself. I learned at an early age to it was important to get information and process it in order to get ahead and do well.

Once my disability was diagnosed it changed things for me. I then had to make others aware that I was hearing impaired and that they had to play a part in my getting the information I needed. In order to get the message across to others I had to relay to them what it was like to be hearing impaired. I had to show them different ways they could best help me in various situations.

I learned a lot about communication that I can share with you. Information needs to be handled carefully for everyone not just hearing impaired people. Its a very essential part of any experience and the more you know about it the more power you can wield and the more satisfaction you get from your job. Let me illustrate.

Do you want do work you truly care about? You have to start by building a resume that draws people to you.  Click here to check out the Unlock Your Career Happiness guide. You’ll find out the 7 most important steps to doing work you love.

1. Present Ideas in More than One Way

One of the very important points to communication with a hearing impaired person is to say one sentence in different ways. Sometimes due to background noise or the acoustics of the area a word or words is not recognizable.

So speaking the idea in different ways can help to get the idea across very quickly. Let’s say you are a nurse…a good example would be to ask: “Did you take your medication today?

Another word for medication is pills “Did you take your pills today? or name the medication and ask the question. By asking the question in different ways a word will sound familiar and the subject matter can be identified. This also helps when addressing hearing people as well.

You can also present an idea in different ways that makes it easier to people to understand and remember what you said. An example would be to highlight the positive aspects of a business proposal. This is very effective as the point is taken and the receiver can address the issue with confidence.

2. Be Sensitive to Learning Styles

In the education system we present material in different ways to ensure all learning styles are covered. Some people receive material best when they can see it, some when they hear it, and some when they experience it.

You can write the information, verbalize it and summarize it in a Post-it note. This is effective because it covers all the possible learning styles to ensure proper transfer of the information. It also allows for clarification by asking questions. You can ensure all information has been received by double-checking at the end of the day.

In my job as a Dental Hygienist… It can sometimes be very noisy and busy. So to ensure referrals and other important client details have been addressed I will go back and look through my notes again to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

3. Listen with Intent

I love my career choice as a Dental Hygienist. The satisfaction comes from listening to my clients with a clear mind as they update me since their last visit.

Make people feel they are important to you by listening carefully to their updates. Let your co workers/clients know you heard them by addressing their concerns or questions. Rephrase what you have heard. This is a very powerful tactic in communication because people like being around people who are good listeners.

Being fully present as you listen to someone isn’t easy, but a worthwhile skill to improve your relationships at work and at home.

Let’s Review

I know you will get more from your workday with these easy communication ideas. Managers, leaders and coworkers will see you as trustworthy and competent as you put these ideas into practice.

Be thorough in your explanations taking into account various personalities and work styles. Be sensitive to how people process information and you will cover all the angles to ensure others understand you. Finally listen with intent and you too will learn from others thus creating more satisfaction from your workday.

How do you handle communication in your work setting so everything is clear and easy to understand? I would love to learn from you.

Author bio: Jeanie Bavis believes that when we get a glimpse of our power we should be compelled to share it with others. You can read and learn more over at Self-Improvement Design to explore her perspective. You can also find her on Facebook page and Twitter handle @lifeaidecoach.

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

Smiling at work

Smiling at work

Hating your job isn’t particularly uncommon. In fact, a Gallup study found that around 70% of workers find themselves “disengaged” from their job. Doing the same things day after day, while feeling you’re hardly making a difference in the world, can certainly contribute to a feeling of disengagement in the workplace.

I was once that disengaged employee who hated my job. I dreaded getting up in the morning, and every minute spent at work felt like the clock was ticking by – way too slowly – until I could finally clock out and head home. Sometimes I’d hide in the bathroom for a few minutes, just to get away from my desk.

I was miserable. Lucky for me, I wasn’t trapped. That dreadful job was just for the summer, and I was lucky enough to go back to school at the end of the season.

Unfortunately, many of those who don’t enjoy their job can’t simply get up and leave. Many factors — from a steady paycheck to a feeling of security — make it nonsensical for workers to leave, at least in the present. So what can you do when you hate your job but can’t leave?

Do you want do work you truly care about? You have to start by building a resume that draws people to you.  Click here to check out the Unlock Your Career Happiness guide. You’ll find out the 7 most important steps to doing work you love.

There are several options:

1. Pursue Passions on the Side

When I worked that sales job, it was becoming quickly apparent that it wasn’t the job for me. I had no clue what to do at the time, as I needed to pay rent. So I started doing something I enjoyed in my spare time: writing. I had always enjoyed writing and soon realized there were places online that paid for quality work. I began working for a copywriting business in my spare time. Eventually, when the time was right to leave my sales job, I had already built experience and connections within an industry that made me happier and more properly utilized my strengths — thanks to pursuing my passion on the side while working days.

Whether you have an hour or several of free time after work, it’s recommend to keep your passions intact while working at a job you hate. It could be something artistic like writing or graphic design, or maybe it’s an idea — like starting your own PR company or inventing. Regardless, a dull job shouldn’t keep you from pursuing your passions and things you’re good at.

2. Use Your Job to Identify Weaknesses

Your job right now may be boring, but you can still use it to your advantage as a device to identify which things you wouldn’t possibly want to do at your next job. For example, I found the constant phone calls in sales to be annoying, which helped me narrow down my future options and resulted in deciding on something like writing — where phone calls aren’t nearly as non-stop.

While working at your current job, write down a list of things about it you don’t enjoy, along with things you do enjoy — if any. This will help you discover the best industry for you when the time is right to leave. Making a list with two columns — “too much” and “not enough” — should make your next career move a lot clearer when the time is right.

3. Identify Lifelong Goals

It’s natural for humans to live day-by-day. It’s difficult to brainstorm about where you want to be in 20 years when rent is due and you’re worrying about affording groceries. Still, when your job isn’t the right fit, it’s a great idea to keep in mind your lifelong goals so as to better associate yourself with businesses that share similar values.

I may not have worked my sales job for long, but it was long enough to know that I needed more to strive for. Now that I’ve had that experience, I can appreciate my current position all the more. Still, some days are harder to get through. That’s where goals come in. On the days you don’t feel like working, or you feel as though you have nothing to work for, having a goal can be like having a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s your out, your way to a better job, to happiness.

Take learning as a goal, for example. Since millennials are the most educated generation in history, many businesses are beginning to adopt lifelong learning values, such as opportunities for continued education and training. If this is important to you, keep it in mind as you plot your next move. Make it a lifelong goal to work for a company that shares that value.

The second part to that goal is to work towards it in the short run, too. If you lack the experience or training to make the move to a job you want, make it a goal to start learning anything and everything you can to get to where you want to be. I make it a goal to read at least two books a month that can help me grow – both as an individual and as a professional. You’ll develop the skills you need to make the move, and that dream company of yours – the one that values learning – will take this as a sign that you’re a good fit. Now you’re not stuck anymore.

Your current job is also useful in this sense, since you can look at your current employer’s general philosophy and workplace and identify areas you don’t enjoy, such as an over-emphasis on profits over community or a lack of communication from managers. Add these aspects to either the “too much” or “not enough” columns as well.

4. Consider Staying, but With Adjustments

If for whatever reason you absolutely cannot leave your job in the near future, it may be better to hunker down and try to maximize your situation there the best you can. For example, if your job leaves you feeling unstimulated, speak with your employer about handling greater responsibilities. Not only will it make time go by quicker, but the more substantial responsibilities are a good look that can result in a pay raise down the line. Also, ask about your current employer’s educational benefits or volunteer opportunities, as both provide a way to hone your talents while working at a job that does not properly use them.

This is also a good strategy when you love the company, but hate your job. Most bosses want to retain employees and are open to horizontal movements within the company. If you’re feeling unsatisfied but aren’t interesting in leaving behind the company (or the benefits), switching to a new position within the company can sometimes be the answer.

While being at a boring job is less than desirable, these tips can either help you tolerate your current situation or move onto a new one when the time is right. Whatever you do, remember that you’re never stuck.

Sarah Landrum, the author of this post, is the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping others find happiness and success in their careers. Follow her for more inspiring tips at @SarahLandrum

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