These days, there are lots of different ways to interact with people, from Slack and texts to emails, calls and good old face-to-face. Regardless of your preferred method, however, in order for you to be effective, your communication skills must be strong. In fact, how well you communicate – either with your colleagues or your property management clients – can impact efficiency, trust and ultimately your future success. That being said, here are five essential communication skills everyone should master.
It may sound odd to list being respectful as a communication skill, but it is – and an important one at that. Why? Because when you respect others, you take the time to listen and hear them out, to learn their point of view and different perspective and to let their voice be heard. It also encompasses how we speak to others. Being respectful creates a more open and positive workplace environment.
There’s such a thing as a bad listener. These are the folks who don’t make eye contact and are always interrupting others. They listen, but only to formulate their response. To the contrary, someone who actively listens will look you in the eye and let you convey your entire message. They’ll probably even repeat back what you’ve said to make sure everyone is on the same page before responding. Which one of these do you think is more effective? Be an active listener. It’ll help you beyond measure.
Positive Body Language
Often times, our actions speak far louder than our words. For instance, crossed arms and lack of eye contact can send a message to the other person that you’re not interested or open to hearing what they’ve got to say. Be mindful of your body language whenever you’re interacting with others.
A Willingness to Ask Questions
The willingness and ability to ask questions is a fundamental communication skill and one that will serve you well throughout your property management career. Asking questions helps to clarify things, whether you’re discussing a project with a co-worker, directing a subordinate or talking about a problem with a client. Make a habit of asking questions. It’ll help you avoid mistakes and misunderstandings.
Regardless of whether you’re an entry-level employee or you’re sitting high atop the corporate ladder, remaining open-minded is a critical communication skill. For someone new to the property management industry, it’s important in order to learn the ropes and adjust to the culture. For a seasoned person or someone in leadership, being open to new ways of doing things will help keep the company innovative and stimulate growth.
How you communicate with others can make or break your career. By honing the five essential skills above, you’ll improve your ability to engage and interact with others in a more positive, effective way. This will ultimately drive the success of yourself as well as your property management company.