Asked on 26 Jul 2018
I am not good at communication skills, especially if I have deal with internal clients (I'm in HR role) and this has start to take a toll on my career. Can this be trained? Are there courses I can take to prove communication skills? My boss is willing to sponsor trainings. Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.
The most common suggestion that most people will suggest is to join Toastmasters.However, it really depends on what you mean by communication. If it was meant that you have to deliver presentations, sales pitches, then Toastmasters is definitely a good training ground. This deals with public speaking. Other option includes the vast option of courses covered by Skillsfuture as well.
On the other end of the spectrum, you just want to make sure that the client knows exactly what you mean, and you want to be able to accurately deliver your intentions and feelings to another person. This doesn't concern public speaking skills, and thus Toastmasters might be too far a step. In this case, you can just ask the people you work with for feedback. This gives us insights on what to improve, and how others view your communication skills.
There are also some simple exercises and role play you can do as well.
Communication is not just talking, and if you are concerned you are not getting the more subtle messages when others speak to you, then write down all the information, and think about why this was communicated to you. All that being said, don't overthink everything.
However, if you want to learn how to communicate among a group of friends, or how to tell stories, or even just to make a story relate more to others, you can actually go on Youtube and search for stand-up comedians. Choose the one that enraptures you the most, that makes you feel like you want to hear more, and learn how he tells his jokes. This is actually where I learnt how to tell stories, both funny ones, and even meaningful ones!
Lastly, communication can be learnt. Practise, and be open to feedback, and I'm sure you'll be a great communicator.
You can try www.udemy.com. Currently I have signed up a few courses and it is simple to follow and best of all, if you are unsure you can rewatched it. They have a lot of communication skills courses. Some of them are eligble for skillsfuture and if you can have up to 30% cashback from Shopback! Double WIN!!!
Well... Toastmasters is ONE of the many way to get better :) However, I don't think that trainings are the only best way...
If you are daring enough:
I believe the best way is actually through failing. It sounds abit radical but I seriously believe in this 150%. When you go out more, you learn quicker. Through actually pitching, or selling to your peers, team mates, or also external. Or speaking engagements externally as well!
When you do so, by having role-plays and asking for honest feedback, be extremely open to constructive criticisim and don't take it too personally. People tend to do that.
For example: "you don't speak with enough confidence" Don't say... "No, it's cos you dont understand me or i'm innately quiet" Start by asking... "what can be improved and WHY. Go deeper. Why and Why" Soon you will realise that you will get better with every new client you meet, or service :)
Keep going and rmb, something that does not kill you, makes you stronger!! And also... you will soon develop a very thick skin.
How about joining Toastmasters club in your company or community? It will give you opportunities to hone your skills in public speaking.