10 Ways to Communicate to Succeed

In today’s work world, we have to ask for what we want and need in order to have success.

But first, we need to talk.

As instant as today’s times may seem, the need for longevity and a long-term goals keep staring us in the face. Our laser sharp focus may remain a blurry, distant sight if not aligned with a plan for the future.

But where do these plans come from? I truly believe that your own career path is largely charted by your own inner compass, combined with the needs of the world. Your skill set has to match a certain demand at the workplace for you to achieve greater heights. Most of us would be professionally dead if not for a willing audience or a ready marketplace. This could be the value we provide to our employers or our client base.

“I truly believe that your own career path is largely charted by your own inner compass, combined with the needs of the world.”

My own personal journey as a professional and as an entrepreneur started on one basic premise: I wanted to work with language. I had just graduated with a Masters in English Literature and for me the world was literally a playground. I could enter the media, academics, become an author or simply pursue a higher degree. But a thirst to see my skill-set at play led me to enter the media.

Once at a job, I realised that if the focus was in place, success could soon be achieved. I climbed the ladder, reached the top and finally moved onto becoming an entrepreneur and freelance writer and editor. I am currently also an educator and work with an NGO to spread quality education among the lesser privileged in India.

When I assess my career path so far, there is just one point that surfaces every now and then – the need to communicate to succeed. Communication, both oral and written, play a large role in any professional’s life. For me, words were really my only tools, and the better I got at using them, the closer I came to reaching my goals.

In this article, I would like to list a few pointers in positive communication. And I emphasize positive because in any workplace and environment, keeping positive in our words, thoughts and deeds is crucial.

Here’s my list of the top 10 things to keep in mind while communicating:

  1. Timing is key: It is important to focus on the right timing in communication. If something is written or said too early or too late, it can disrupt a smooth flow.

  2. Be precise: State the exact reason for communicating right at the start. Set the tone. When communicating for professional reasons, focus purely on the business at hand.

  3. Be politically correct: Use only those words that are politically correct. Being culturally sensitive also helps, as each country will have its own list of dos and don’ts.

  4. Make it quick: There’s little time to ponder leisurely over a business communication. So move over it rapidly and show the other that you value his/her time.

  5. State the truth: In a world that is increasingly striving toward transparency, the more honest we are in our interactions, the more likely are we to get assistance and even business. Communications built on truth ensure longevity.

  6. Be yourself: One thing that sets us apart from others, is the simple fact that we are each unique. We needn’t brag about ourselves but can insert some subtle hint to tell the recipient about who we are and what we think.

  7. Know your audience: Understanding the other’s background and saying something positive to the person you’re communicating with goes a long way in building a rapport. Thus, some homework on the person or organisation helps before you start a communication.

  8. Identify your ‘ask’: Prior to any communication, know what it is that you would like to talk about. This not only shows clarity but also removes any traces of frivolity.

  9. Respect the other: In any communication, it is essential to pay attention to what the other is saying. Meaningful communication is only possible when it is two-sided.

  10. End with grace: Always end a communication with the hope of continuing the relationship.

Remember to sign off with words that make the person want to return for more.