How to Sharpen Communication Skills in a Digital World
A few decades ago, being a good communicator referred to a few commonly agreed-upon traits. It could mean you were an excellent public speaker, a talented conversationalist, or a manager that provided helpful feedback. The parameters were narrow.
But today, communication in a digital world is more important than ever. In fact, in a recent ManpowerGroup survey, more than half (56%) of employers say communications skills, written and verbal, are their most valued human strengths followed by collaboration and problem-solving. How do you thrive in this new environment, and how do you know where to even begin? Here are tips help you succeed when it comes to digital communication.
You don’t have to be always on
Mastering communication skills for a digital world doesn’t mean you have to be always on. Quite the contrary, that’s a recipe for diminishing returns and work burnout. You have to know when to walk away from the laptop, turn off the phone and take a break. Yes, there will always be work there. But your ability to communicate will be enhanced after some down time.
Embrace your edge
Digital formats are a blessing and a curse, because there’s so much you can do it’s overwhelming. Digital communication doesn’t mean just one thing – it’s video blogging, audio podcasting, blog writing, Instagram stories, and much more. When considering how to communicate digitally, think about what you want to communicate, and in which format your message will thrive. An hour long conversation in podcast form, for example, communicates a much different message than a tweet. Find the singular format where your communication fits the best, rather than trying to do too much or nothing at all.
Get outside your comfort zone
You have been alive for the first of many new types of communication: The first tweet, the first blog, the first podcast, the first snap, and there will be many more digital firsts. Here’s a secret: Everyone who was a pioneer on these platforms tried it out and learned as they went. It’s not natural for anyone, from a teenager to a business blogger. Becoming a communicator in a digital world means stepping outside your comfort zone. Embrace it and learn.
On to the next thing
In the digital landscape, like life, the only constant is change. The only difference is things change much faster online. Even after you feel secure in your digital communication, it’s time to keep adapting to the next thing. Once you think you know the answer, you stop learning.
The good news is whether you consider yourself a talented communicator or not, there are multiple ways to sharpen your communication skills and excel in the digital world. If you try one and it’s not for you, there’s always something else that might be a better fit. If not today, then tomorrow will bring something new.
Read ManpowerGroup’s Skills Revolution 2.0 to learn more about the soft skills, technical and digital skills needed to compete in today’s fast-changing world of work.