If you’re aiming to grow your career and boost your chances of landing the best Administration and Receptionist jobs on the market, here are our best tips on how to improve your communication skills at work.
1. Understand Who You’re Speaking To
As an Admin or Receptionist, you are the person who sets the tone for the relationship any new client or customer is going to have with the company. That’s why it’s important to understand the people you’re dealing with from the moment you meet.
Just by talking with someone for a few minutes, you can learn a lot. Where possible, try to find out what their temperament is like, what their perception is of yourself and the business, and what kind of communication style they prefer (e.g. do they want just the facts, or do they prefer anecdotes?). This will help you identify the best approach to take and drastically improve your subsequent interactions with them.
2. Select the Appropriate Medium for the Message
With so many communication technologies available in the modern world, a key aspect of effective communication is selecting the right medium through which to direct an exchange. If the information is technical and needs to be clearly laid out, such as the details of an upcoming event, then a written form of communication is usually better than just a phone call. However, if the conversation is time-sensitive, personal or emotionally-charged, such as a complaint from an unhappy customer, then a phone call may be faster and better received.
Additionally, you should also consider the preferences and expectations of the individual and the business; for example, overseas clients may prefer to use video conferencing platforms like Skype or Zoom, rather than just relying on emails.
3. Be Clear and Intentional
People who have honed their communication skills know that less is truly more; that means understanding when to speak and how to make it count. It can be tough sometimes, but learning to refine your message and communicate more directly keeps others engaged in the conversation, makes it easier to convey your meaning and reduces the chances of misunderstandings.
To begin with, think about what you’re trying to communicate and why – find the heart of what you’re saying and make sure that comes through loud and clear. Practice cutting out the background noise and leaving just the essential points to ensure that there is no room for confusion.
4. Focus on Actively Listening
One of the most important (and often neglected) aspects of communication is listening. Many of us spend more time considering our response or making assumptions than actively paying attention to what the other person is saying, and this is a major barrier to truly effective communication.
One of the best ways to get into the habit of actively listening is by thinking of any additional information you might need on the subject. Listen carefully to the other person without interrupting them, and when they are finished, repeat the key points of what they have told you to confirm that you have understood them correctly. This will show them you have heard what they said, understood it and will be able to act on it. At this point, if there is anything else you need to know or clarify, you will be able to ask. That is the art of actively listening.
As we said earlier, Receptionists and Administrators are vital players in any business. You are the ‘face’ of the company and will influence the kind of impression that customers, clients and other external stakeholders have about the business, so your communication skills are the most important tools you have. By focusing on how to communicate effectively and improving your abilities, you are sure to be an asset to any employer.
For help with your next Receptionist or Administration job search, get in touch with the team at Southside Staffing.