In an industry centered on communication, I don’t need to tell you how important it is. Everyone learns to talk and most people learn to write, but are we actually taught to communicate? I’m finding that my job – and I’d guess every job -consistently challenges us to clarify and make use of these abilities.
In school, you are indirectly taught how to communicate. You are placed into a social setting that forces you to express your opinions, ask questions and form relationships. You naturally have conversations with your friends, classmates and professors every day. And each one of these conversations is a chance to practice your skills and gain experience. Your professors give you assignments with the expectation that you will ask clarifying questions. After all, the students that truly understand what the professor wants are the ones who will be successful.
The corporate world is exactly the same. Except here, you’re much more responsible for your personal growth. Your supervisor gives you an assignment, but the way you complete it is up to you. If you don’t understand exactly what your boss wants, ask for clarification. Communication is essential in getting quality feedback. If you don’t have the confidence to ask questions, how are you going to advance professionally? Realistically, you won’t.
In business, misunderstandings happen all the time. Communication is vital in creating and maintaining successful professional relationships and navigating any misunderstandings. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “no one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others”. So ask for feedback and clarification. See where you can improve and get suggestions on how to foster these changes. Your supervisor sees your work every day. Because they have been where you are they can start you on your path toward self-improvement. Undoubtedly, you’ll benefit from a fresh perspective and guidance.