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5 Crucial Communication Skills You Need To Succeed At Work

Details: Written by Kate Hutchinson |

In today's fast-paced and often remote work environment, effective communication is more crucial than ever. Communication skills play an essential role in every aspect of work, from building relationships with colleagues and clients to presenting ideas and solving problems. In this blog, we will explore 5 crucial communication skills you and your team need to succeed and how The Skills Network can help you get there.

Good communication skills are the silver bullet of any organisation.

Need to land the perfect pitch? Start mastering some key communication techniques.

Sifting through some CVs for a vacant role? Look for communication skills.

Hoping to negotiate a great deal on that contract? You got it…. COMMUNICATION SKILLS!

But what is the big deal?

Why is communication important in the workplace?

Let’s start with the definition of communication.

The dictionary definition of communication: the process of sharing information, especially when this increases understanding between people or groups

As you can imagine, without understanding, we wouldn't get very far!

In our day-to-day lives, we are constantly communicating (at varying degrees of success) with everybody and sometimes we don't even know we are doing it.

Communication is the number 1 and undisputed most in-demand skill for employers.

Covid 19 dramatically altered the entire landscape of the business world.

With over 44% of the UK population now working remotely, effective communicators are needed more than ever as companies have evolved to rely on Teams, Email, Slack and a whole host of other mediums to keep people connected.

Barriers to communication

A phone in a circle road sign with a line through it

Despite its crucial importance, there are many barriers to communication that can swiftly impact your productivity as a business. The University of Southhampton has studied the principal barriers associated with poor communication in the workplace.

Some of the most common barriers to communication include:


We are not just talking about a noisy printer (although that’s a big one!) Noise can be classified as anything that interferes with or interrupts communication- including remote working practices.

Poor listening skills

A typical speaker will say about 125 words per minute, while a listener can receive 400-600 words per minute. Therefore, about 75% of listening time is free time, which can distract the listener.

This means that while you’re talking about very important business, the recipient could very well be daydreaming about what they’re having for tea that night.

Poor non-verbal communication skills

55% of the meaning of a message is communicated through non-verbal interaction. This includes posture, gestures, facial expression, tone and pitch of voice etc.

However, non-verbal cues can be ambiguous and their meaning can vary with respect to culture, context and intention, often resulting in miscommunication.

For more examples of common barriers to communication check out the University of Southhampton short summary. Removing these barriers can be your first step towards improving communication in your business.

Another step to better communication is upskilling your staff.

Whether you are communicating with colleagues, clients, or customers, the ability to express yourself clearly and understand others' perspectives is critical.

The Skills Network has a range of distance learning courses that are expertly developed to improve communication skills and enhance performance in your business.

Courses include:

*Based on the average time taken by our learners to complete.

For more courses to help improve communication in your business visit our Personal Development and Leadership web page today or speak to one of our friendly sales team.

So, what are the 5 most in-demand type of communication?

5 icons of communication including an ear for listening, a typewriter for writing, a crying face for emotional intelligence and a exclamation mark for conflict handshake for verbal,

1. Active Listening:

Definition: paying attention, understanding, and responding appropriately.

Importance: builds trust, fosters collaboration, and promotes mutual understanding.

Tip: maintain eye contact, ask clarifying questions, and summarise what the speaker said.

Improve overall managerial skills with our Leading and Motivating a Team CPD.

2. Written Communication:

Importance: conveys messages clearly, avoids misunderstandings, and creates a professional image.

Tip: use simple language, organize ideas logically, and proofread messages carefully.

Common mistakes: using inappropriate language, sending messages to the wrong recipients, and using the wrong tone.

Master your professional communication skills with our popular Communicating at Work CPD.

3. Verbal Communication:

Importance: conveys messages clearly, engages the audience, and builds relationships.

Tip: use a clear and confident voice, listen actively to the audience, and use appropriate body language.

Common mistakes: using inappropriate language, interrupting the speaker, speaking too fast or too slow.

Maximise your business network communication skills with our Networking CPD.

4. Emotional Intelligence:

Definition: recognising, understanding, and managing your emotions and those of others.

Importance: builds strong relationships, manages conflicts, and helps to lead effectively.

Tip: practice self-awareness, empathy, and self-regulation.

Common mistakes: being insensitive to others' feelings, letting emotions control behaviour, and failing to recognise others' emotions.

Build upon your team’s emotional intelligence with our Social Awareness CPD.

5. Conflict Resolution:

Definition: resolving disagreements or conflicts between individuals or groups.

Importance: helps to maintain a positive and productive work environment.

Tip: use active listening, negotiation, and mediation techniques.

Prevention: communicate clearly, set clear expectations, and address issues promptly.

Develop your team’s conflict resolution skills with our 4-hour Conflict Management CPD.

In conclusion, effective communication skills are essential for success in today's work environment.

Active listening involves paying attention, understanding, and responding appropriately to a speaker. Written communication skills allow you to convey messages clearly and professionally, while verbal communication skills help you engage your audience and build relationships. Emotional intelligence enables you to recognise, understand, and manage your emotions and those of others, leading to stronger relationships and more effective leadership. Finally, conflict resolution skills enable you to resolve disagreements and maintain a positive and productive work environment.

By removing barriers and incorporating the techniques outlined in this blog, you and your team can become more effective communicators.

So take the time to hone those communication skills and watch your business soar to new heights.

For information about how our distance learning courses can upskill your staff, visit our website or enquire today.

Not a business? We’ve got over 150 courses for individual learners in England and Scotland to choose from, why not enquire now.