Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Not just communication, but effective communication.

In any relationship, communication is needed if all parties involved are going to get along and get the best out of it. This goes for friendships, sports teams and internships, amongst others. I am going to share some things I communicated to my work colleagues and how I communicated them which furthered my learning experience. 

1.Prior to starting work, I read a few articles that guided my in the direction of improving my communication skills.

  • These articles helped me determine what I am good with when it comes to effective communication as well as what I could possibly improve on. This also helped me set my goals. Though personal experience is a great teacher, other people’s experiences could also be a good teacher so it always helps to read and find other perspective whenever I am trying to improve on somethings.

2. I communicated the goals I set to my supervisor. 

  • After sharing this with my supervisor, he was able to have a clearer idea of what I am trying to achieve and learn. This made it easier for him to point me in the right direction so I could improve on some of my weaknesses.

3. Try and meet everyone halfway.

  • In this internship, I have had to work with multiple people and from customers, to colleagues and my supervisor, I tried different methods to see what worked for us better. For example: I was working on an even with a team and we needed to setup a group chat to ensure easy communication. One person immediately said I’ll create an iMessage group. I then interjected and asked if everyone had an iPhone, two people did not so we created the group on WhatsApp. This was a very good learning experience for me because I learnt that I should not only consider myself when making decision but everyone else I am working with.

4. Ask questions

  • I asked questions such as what channel fo you prefer to communicate through? What times are you usually available to respond to messages? What matters should we discuss over call and what things should we discuss over email? Where you work may affect the questions you could ask. Regardless, questions are necessary as they ensure that all parties are on the same page and understand each other. 

5. Timely Communication

  • Though last minute communication is still communication, it is not good enough, so if you can avoid it then avoid it. Especially when working in a small company, most people are linked by one task or the other so a shift in one person’s task affects everyone else. Therefore, it is best to communicate to your team as soon as possible so everyone can plan accordingly.