Once you get your foot in the door of a new job, the real work begins. The first few weeks are your opportunity to learn as much as you can to set yourself up for long-term success. How does your new team operate? Where does your role fit into the business structure? The faster you are able to answer these questions, the sooner you will become acclimated. Utilise communication and your ability to connect with others to learn as much as you can. Take it upon yourself to understand how your new place of work defines professionalism. Believe it or not, this varies between all organizations and could be the most important thing you debunk in your first days. No matter your field of work, communication is the most important skill that you can possess. Here are some words of the wise to master your ability to communicate:
Be An Active Listener
The easiest way to improve your communication skills is by becoming a consistent listener. You’ll be surprised how the flow of conversation will improve when you begin listening to understand rather than to respond. This rings especially true for those who are beginning a new position. In simple terms, listening to understand means that you are fully involved in the conversation and not necessarily looking to get a word in; your role is to digest the information. Begin practicing better listening with three easy steps:
- Put down your devices at the start of any interaction. Distractions, even when unintentional, lead to missed information.
- Get in the habit of repeating information back to the person before discussing further. This will show that you have been paying attention, and also confirm that you understand the information that was shared.
- Try to keep your personal take out of it. Not everything requires your feedback. Offer your opinion only when it is asked of you. If you do otherwise, you weren’t really listening to understand, were you?
No matter the subject or person you are communicating to, your message should always be clear. Confusing the point you are trying to get across with unnecessary information, or too many words, can prevent the recipient from understanding your message or question. When you’re in a new role, being clear and concise will aid in your professional development and help you get up to speed faster. If there is a task that you are unsure of how to complete, ask for help and be clear about what you are struggling with. Asking for help will not shed a negative light on you. In fact, it will likely demonstrate your desire to learn from your coworkers. Additionally, you will be showing a level of respect for their time when you know exactly what you need from them and when.
It is important that you respond to all messages in an appropriate amount of time. Whether it’s via email, instant message, video conference, or phone call, it is essential that you respond in a timely manner. Start by ensuring that you are able to monitor and manage all communication channels. If your company offers a unified communications platform to unite all of your sources of communication, make sure that all of your eligible channels are synced. You will be able to track when all messages are received simultaneously and determine which require attention first.
Take notice of the channel in which you are communicating with your coworkers. This is important. The channels in which your messages are being transferred can drastically affect the style and tone in which your response is delivered. Try to remain consistent in delivering your response through the same channel of communication in which it was presented to you. If you receive an email, respond with an email. The same goes for instant messages, phone calls and so on unless specified otherwise. In addition, be mindful of who you are speaking with. This may alter the tone or verbiage of your response.
How you send and receive messages can create a reputation. Always try curate a positive tone, even when the circumstances are challenging. This effort will generate a positive reputation among your coworkers and superiors. It may seem cliche, but communication is key and in this case the key to your professional success. Interact with as many people as you can to learn about your new place of work. Not only will you start to feel like part of the team sooner, but your eagerness will translate to dedication and excitement if done right!