By: ASHLEY FOOR
Communication is an ever-evolving field that can change overnight. Being skillful and up to date on the latest communication trends is something that could be more valuable to you than any other skill you acquire in your academic career.
“College, in many ways, is a laboratory for students to experiment with ways of engaging other people,” said Associate Professor of Communication Arts Larry Lambert. “Experiment with ways of figuring out what you do well, and what you want to do well. Communication is often the only way that you can do that.”
Effective communication skills in college also help you to actually learn more, especially in classes that are more interactive, such as a communications class, Lambert said. If you know how to ask meaningful questions, and be clear with what you want to know, reciprocal communication can be very productive.
Lambert expressed the importance of knowing how to effectively communicate with your peers, and that when students go out into the “real world,” communication skills are even more important. College is a great place to hone those communication skills before entering a professional environment.
Although there are students that do not want to enter jobs that require them to interact with people on a regular basis, there will be times when they will have to communicate well with others.
“Even someone who is in the back office of a company will be expected to engage in this kind of live communication with other employees and sometimes clients,” Lambert said. “In an organization, every person has a role to play in how that organization is perceived by other members and outsiders.”
Poor communication skills in the workplace could lead to lack of motivation and negative employee morale. If employees are not getting clear communication from their superiors, or even just coworkers, it could potentially make getting the job done close to impossible, Lambert said.
“Communication is a broad engagement with the world. If you can interact with others — if you engage in supportive behavior with other people –everybody that’s involved is more likely to be positively motivated, and thus go the extra mile to make sure things are done not only to the benefit of the organization, but to their own benefit,” Lambert said.