As you’re starting a new internship, make sure to come prepared with tips for good communication. The better you’re able to communicate with your managers and colleagues, the more successful you’ll be. If you start out with strong communication skills, you’ll be well on your way to being a top-notch intern. Although there are many pointers, here are the 7 best tips for good communication.
1. Talk face to face whenever possible
For important topics or questions, communicating face to face with your colleagues is always the best option. Text or email often leaves room for misinterpretation, and can be slower if you need to go back and forth with questions and follow-ups. Face to face communication is also a better way to develop trust, and will allow you to develop workplace relationships more quickly. That being said, avoid scheduling meetings to make announcements that could have been an email, for example if they are less important or relevant.
2. Use examples
For clear communication, try to be as specific as possible. If you’re looking for clarification on an assignment, or are having an issue with a task, giving examples will help other people understand the exact issue. Using examples and very specific languages is also important when giving feedback, particularly constructive criticism. In order for other people to benefit and grow from your feedback, they need to know exactly what should change.
3. Ask questions
Miscommunication frequently happens when people are too afraid to ask questions, or are overly confident in themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need, as long as they are relevant and well thought out. In a professional environment, it’s much better to ask questions in the beginning and do the task correctly, than to assume you understand and have to redo things later on.
4. Check in frequently
As an intern, you’ll likely have a direct mentor or supervisor, who is responsible for you day-to-day. You might also have managers who you report to for specific projects or aspects of your role. No matter the situation, it’s important to check in frequently with your supervisors. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting regular feedback, and to build a stronger relationship and potential future contact.
5. Ask for feedback
This is one the best tips for good communication as feedback is the fastest way you can grow as a professional. As an intern or an entry level employee, you’re likely to get feedback frequently about your work. Knowing how to receive feedback is essential. Consider any and all feedback, positive or constructive, an opportunity for growth. If a colleague or supervisor goes out of their way to comment on your work, keep in mind that they care about your success. Of course, even if you aren’t receiving feedback, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek it out. The more you learn from experienced professionals in your industry, the better you become.
6. Make it personal
Adding a personal touch is an easy way to ensure the people you are communicating with feel valued and understood. If you’re copying and pasting responses, spelling someone’s name incorrectly, or forgetting about previous conversations, you’re less likely to have positive communication.
7. Don’t over-communicate
Although it’s important to make sure your message is dictated clearly, it’s also wise to avoid over-communication. Repeating the same instructions or messages many times can make your colleagues feel micromanaged. Consider making an announcement or having a conversation, and following up with an email, recapping the key points.
Apply now for an international internship, and use these tips for good communication to launch your career!