Communication plays an important role not just in a virtual office setting, but in all aspects of life! Being able to communicate effectively allows you to fully express yourself – a way to connect with others who are like you, and demonstrate who you are and why you are here. It also helps you to covey your message in a way that is easy to understand… and reduces the likelihood of being misunderstood – something we all want to avoid.
Effective communication can also assist you with building positive work relationships that can take your career and business to greater heights.
For virtual assistants, communicating through chat and emails only can be a little bit challenging as you don’t get to speak or view your clients or teammates face to face. This removes the ability to further communicate a phrase with a smile, stress a particular word using enhanced tonality, or get an idea of how your message is being received by watching the body language of the other person. This is why it is important to improve your communication skills in order to have further improve working relationships.
- Practice English
English is a universal language and it is the language mostly used by clients to communicate with their VAs – both written and oral. Some of the best ways to improve your English communication is to read books and watch movies (in English, of course). Pay attention to the words and how they are used in a sentence. If you come across a word that you are not familiar with, look it up in a dictionary so you’ll have a better understanding. Aim to be fluent in English – not only for the sake of communicating with your clients, but also for your own growth. Did you know that research shows that people who are fluent in more than one language often out-perform those that only speak on language? MRI scans have also shown that brains of people studying languages are stimulated and increase in size.
- Talk to Yourself
This might sound strange, but one of the most effective ways to help you become more confident in speaking English is to talk to yourself. Whenever you’re alone, say your thoughts out loud. It doesn’t even have to be work-related. Just simply talk to yourself. Speaking out loud can help you become more comfortable in speaking the language, and soon enough it will come natural for you. Use written English in your day to day tasks, eg. write your shopping list in English, write notes in English, etc.
- Be Confident
Once you’re comfortable speaking and writing in English, the next thing you need to improve is your confidence. Communication is not just about being fluent in a certain language, it is also about having the confidence to speak your mind and deliver your message. Listening is also key to proper communication, so when someone is speaking, learn to pay attention. When writing an email or a chat message, make sure that your message is clear and easy to understand.