LOL, LMBO, TTYL: 3 Steps to Breaking Bad Communication Habits

Remember real-life, long-form dialogue? It's still important for career success

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The life of a millennial is filled with Facebook statuses, Twitter updates and never-ending text message conversations. It can become second nature to type in abbreviations and Web slang, especially when that’s something done all day, every day. At a time when people can make an statement with just 140 characters, traditional communication skills can somewhat fall by the wayside, but they’re still important in today’s job market. What may be great between friends or Twitter followers may not be great for everyday networking and job seeking.

Here are three ways to break those bad communication habits to find professional success:

Remember, there’s life beyond that computer screen: As children of modern technology, a lot of communication goes down in front of a computer, probably while chatting via iPhone or Android. However, it’s important to understand the importance of face-to-face meetings. Sitting down and actually having face-to-face interactions with people can help flex those communication muscles, allowing you to develop better networking skills. Employers and interviewers also take note of eye contact and your ability to pick up on nonverbal cues, both of which can’t be enhanced by always interacting via the Web.

Step your dialogue game up: One of the basic necessities of communication is clarity, which can sometimes get confused when communicating via text message or tweeting. When communicating in person, you should be clear and concise as to what you want to convey with your words. Speak on important matters directly and stay away from unnecessary stories that can cause you to digress in conversation.

Add that personal touch: While it is essential to be direct when communicating in the workplace, it doesn’t mean you have to be rude and impersonal. Remember, you are talking to actual humans, not faceless beings disguised behind phone numbers or Facebook profiles. Allowing your personality to shine through when conversing will more than likely put the listener at ease and will make you a more effective communicator.

 

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