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EFFECTS OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS ON CAREER GROWTH.   Communication is essential and an important factor in the success of any employee, irrespective of the environment where they work, or the position they occupy. The place of communication in the career progression and growth of an employee cannot be overemphasized.   What is a communication skill?  This simply means the ability to share information, ideas, and feelings.   Communication can be grouped into the following:  
  1. Written Communication.
This is the type of communication where information is conveyed using written language. These are typically through memos, publications, website /blog contents, social media posts , text messages, emails, and other written avenues of information conveyance.  
  1. Oral /Spoken/Verbal Communication. It is the passage of information through spoken language. Usually, a language that is well known to the speaker and the hearer. This can be through briefs, meetings, phone calls, video conferences etc.
  1. Non-Verbal and Visual Communications.
Is the conveyance of information through images, signs, and other body gestures.  
  1. Active Listening.
 Is an essential communication skill that demands, absolute attention on the speaker, with the aim of understanding, comprehending the message conveyed by a speaker, responding thoughtfully, and retaining the information conveyed.   Career Growth is the process whereby, an employee progresses from one position to a higher one, until they get to the apex in their chosen career path.   Effective Communication skills means, possessing essential skills that aid in exchanging ideas, thoughts, data, and opinions, so that information passed is received with clarity and purpose. When information is communicated effectively, both the sender and the receiver are satisfied and well informed. While poor communication skills mean, when there is a misunderstanding of the information passed by the receiver. This means, that the information relayed to the receiver is not understood by them and this hinders mutual understanding of the information.   Every organization rely on people for growth and development and at such, communication is an integral part of every organization.  Employees are expected to possess necessary communication skills, to enable them to contribute their adequate quota in the growth of the organization and invariably in their own professional career growth and personal development.   Possessing the right communication skills as a career-driven professional has the following benefits for career growth:  
  1. Good Relationship with both Internal and External Customers.
This is reflected in the interpersonal skills an employee exudes. It is expected that an employee can manage their immediate colleagues (internal customers) properly, ensuring that there’s proper management of different people with different personalities to maintain a sane work environment. As a team leads or as a team player, being able to manage interpersonal relationships with your colleagues, helps in encouraging a harmonious work environment, where every team member is comfortable enough to add value to the team’s goals.   Good relationships with external (clients, vendors, and third parties) customers is also very key. Proper management results in good feedback, long-term customer retention, and referrals. No organization can thrive without customers. It is, therefore, necessary to implore good communication skills in managing the stakeholders of the business, which include largely the buying crowd (customers) of that business.   2.Effective Communication Reduces Conflicts. Communicating effectively in a team can stop problems from escalating, reduce conflict occurrences, and enhance growth in the team. This helps employees in being able to manage one another, because of the clear channels of communication available, well-defined roles, conflict report/resolution systems etc. This invariably leads to the growth of the employees. Employees can perform at their optimal in work environments devoid of toxicity.   3.Effective Communication Enhances Productivity in a Team. Proper communication of expectations on roles assigned or expectations help employees in performing at their optimal levels. And at such, the organization will not struggle to meet up with their set targets nor live their mission, and vision. Therefore, it is paramount that all cadres of employee have strong communication skills for the profitability and growth of the business.   Also, employees are expected to effectively communicate their concerns, to enable them meet performance expectations. Poor communication of concerns from employees often lead to poor performance, which hinders appraisal results and invariably affect their career growth.   4.Effective Communication helps in employee retention and growth within the organization. Every organization would rather retain employees who are articulate in conveying their ideas and opinions, rather than employees who make little or no contributions where and when necessary. Employees who embody effective communication skills are considered professionals and easily accelerate in their careers, as they are always given tasks and responsibilities to manage. Such employees are seen as valuable.   Effects of Poor communication skills on Career growth:  
  1. Toxic Work Environment.
  The work environment will be too tensed, and employees will not look forward to being at work. This lack of motivation can spill to how employees manage customers and prospects.  
  1. Increased Conflict in the system.
  When information received are ambiguous, this could lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings. Also, when employees find it difficult to give feedbacks, ask questions, and seek clarifications, they do their jobs inaccurately. This often led to a report of incompetence. No organization will value an incompetent employee.  
  1. Liquidation of the Organisation.
  A company that has a workforce of de-motivated employees will usually have an uninspired and unproductive workforce. Unproductivity usually leads to unprofitability and the end result of the liquidation. This situation hampers the growth of employees, as there could be salary slash, downsizing, or retrenchment that could lead to the loss of jobs.  
  1. Stunted Career Growth.
  Employees who lack the right communication skills or who poorly manage communication at work are usually not assigned higher roles and responsibilities. They may be kept on other sentiments, but not valued to be handed projects or promoted into higher positions. As they have shown over time, they do not have the right communication skills.   In every work environment, every employee needs to understand information clearly, to enable them to do their job accurately, producing and even surpassing expected results. Also, employees need to communicate properly to confirm that they understand their roles and can deliver as expected.   Furthermore, we will list some communication skills needed in a work environment:  
  1. Active Listening Skills
  2. Exploring the communication types where and when necessary.
3 Embodying the right interpersonal skills
  1. Giving necessary feedbacks
  2. Being responsive
    Having x-rayed the benefits of effective communication skills on career growth and the effects of poor communication skills on career growth, it is safe to conclude that communication skills can either make, slow down, or mar the career growth of an individual. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the place of effective communication skills in building a professional portfolio and attaining an enviable status in one’s career path.   An employee who is very hardworking, resilient, and very resourceful, but with poor communication skills, will most likely be restricted in their career progression.     It is very important that employees of all cadres understand that communication is vital in all work environments. An employee can effectively manage people of diverse backgrounds, belief systems, and emotions by possessing the right communication skills.   It is therefore important that employees train regularly to sharpen, widen, and improve their communication skills, to remain relevant in the world of work. As obviously every organization requires people to thrive.   Ifeoma. N. Mogo
Written by Ifeoma. N. Mogo
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