10 ways to improve your communication skills as a freelancer
Healthy communication is the best foundation for any business. Effective communication at the workplace is the key in establishing strong relationships and getting important projects done, especially when you're dealing with freelancing and remote collaborators.
Of course, communication doesn't only feel good, but it also shows results. And when you're struggling with some form of miscommunication it can lead to misunderstandings, frustrations and even annoyed clients.
To help you solve these issues, here at Upstack we've come up with 10 easy tips to help you improve your communication skills and overall relationship between you and your teammates, all based on the activity that we do every day.
The fun part? You can start using them even from today!
1. Learn to listen
Usually people want to know that they are being heard. If you’re not actively listening to what the other person is saying, it’s difficult to end up on the same page. Avoid spacing out, thinking about what you are going to say next, or interrupting when someone else is talking and really listen to what the other person is saying.
2. Check your body language
In face-to-face meetings or video conferencing it's important that you appear accessible and have an open body language. This means: not crossing your arms, not looking constantly the other way, not playing with stuff on your desk or the pen. Best tip: keep eye contact so the other person knows you are paying attention.
3. Double check before hitting the send button
Spelling and grammar checkers are lifesavers, but they are not foolproof. Double check what you have written, to make sure that your words are communicating the intended message.
4. Keep it short and specific
Practice being brief but yet quite specific to provide enough information for the other person to understand everything that you are trying to say, either verbal or written. It's important not to give too much information or useless one. So, no beating around the bush!
5. Write it down!
Sometimes your memory can play tricks on you in your own disadvantage. Take some notes when talking to another person or even when you are in a meeting. You can easily send a follow-up email after that, with the main ideas from the meeting so everybody is clear with the whole discussion.
6. Stop. Think. Talk.
Don't say the first thing that comes to your mind. Pause before you speak. Take a moment and arrange what you want to say and how you want to say it. It will save you many awkward moments or even embarrassments.
7. Make your workflow transparent
Use Asana, Trello, Excel Sheets, whatever works for you so everybody knows it's position, the deadlines or issues that you might be confronting within a project. Eliminate frustrations of not knowing in what point of the project you currently are.
8. Sharing is caring
Having some knowledge that can help the group and keeping it to yourself not only sounds quite selfish but it also can do real damage to the group. A link, a newsfeed or anything that can make things grow is not only in your advantage but you can easily become the “go to” person or the “glue” that binds people together.
9. Equality for everybody
Treat people with the respect you strive for and never talk down to anyone. Equality in a group sends a message of confidence and trust.
10. Smile and keep a positive attitude
Whenever you smile or have a positive attitude, people automatically will respond positive back, even on the phone. It acts more like an encouragement and brings positive workflow and matters getting done more quickly than on a grouchy note.
Effective communication in the workplace means a foundation for success, both for your company and overall people happiness.