Engineers have an important job within the world; solving the greatest of challenges and even helping to overcome a whole range of disasters. This is why engineers need to be excellent communicators; to ensure their colleagues, customers and sometimes the public understand the ins and outs of exactly what’s going on around them. Communication skills are an essential part of an engineer’s career in order to lead to a prosperous growth in the future.
Learning to be a good listener is an extremely important part of the communication process. Listening allows you to build a great rapport with people, as well as demonstrating to others that you respect what they have to say. You need to show that you’re actively listening; paying attention and demonstrating your understanding of the conversation by repeating key points. This way, they’ll feel like they are understood.
We know communication skills do not come easily to everyone, which is why we’ve put together our top five tips to help you improve yours.
1. Don’t Interrupt
Talking over people, or interrupting what they’re saying, shows a complete lack of respect. To positively communicate with someone, you need to let them explain what they have to say before you respond.
2. Let them finish
You may think you’re being helpful by finishing sentences for people, or showing that you understand what they’re saying, but you could be disempowering them by taking control of the conversation. Hold your tongue, and wait until they’ve finished.
An easy way to show someone that you’ve understood what they’ve said is to paraphrase. Repeat back to them what they have said before commenting on it. It will keep the conversation flowing whilst allowing them to realise you’re really enthralled in the topic.
4. Actively Listen
Focus on actively listening rather than passive listening. The difference between the two is active listening is showing you are engaging and responding to the other person based on what they are saying. Passive listening is the act of listening without response.
5. Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact throughout a conversation is key to proving that you’re interested in what they have to say. It will also ensure you’re focused on the topic and less distracted by what is going on around you.
If you’re interested in obtaining an engineering apprenticeship, we can help. For more information, contact a member of the GET team via our contact page or by giving us a call