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Top 10 Online Learning Sites To Advance Communication Skills at Work

Top 10 Online Learning Sites To Advance Communication Skills at Work

Experiencing inefficiency at work and in the personal life is the worst feeling that one can face, especially when it is self created.

There comes a phase in majority of us lives when every time we listen to or meet great orators or managers, we tend to feel a sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach followed by self consoling thoughts saying that those people were probably just born with the ability or their parents probably had the same glorious skills which passed on to them as well.

Being a perfect communicator comes with time and experience after being in a series of difficult situations. Everyone of us, no matter which geographical area we belong to, more often than not, face similar issues in our career that tend to shape us as either a good communicator or a bad one.

Lacks of communication skills is one of the most misunderstood terms. It is rarely about the language proficiency or how much you fumble when you talk. It is more about how we voice out and react to an unfavorable situation that stands in front of us.

Knowing how to react in a situation helps gives us the confidence that ultimately shapes us as good communicators and even leaders.

In this article, we will be looking at the different situations that we come across everyday, which helps define us as good communicators or bad ones. Along with every situation, we have mentioned a link to the course/website you can visit to better the situation at hand and come out as an expert communicator.

Let’s begin:

1. If you are finding yourself fumbling in a language, try Duolingo.

A number of times what happens is that you lose practice in talking in language A because people around you – at home or at office – talk in language B and so when the time comes to talk in language B, you fumble because of lack of practice.

Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to voice out what is in your head in so many words from your mouth. So, what is the solution? How do you overcome this brushing up your language issue?

Enroll in a language course on Duolingo.

    I know what you are thinking, why enroll in a course which teaches you a language from scratch? Right? I’ll tell you why.

    Because you have forgotten a language, you have over time lost track of the confidence in your speaking skills. So, enrolling in a course to learn the language from scratch will help you get the confidence back that will come from knowing that you know everything about the language that you’d need to get by in your day.

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    2. If you are unable to let go of bad incidents and it is killing your confidence, try Coursera’s EQ course.

    How many times has it happened with you that after an argument or a disagreement with someone, you were not able to talk to them as confidently as you used to earlier and it shows in your speech, tone, and simply in how you talk to them, even act in front of them?

    It is the doing of your low emotional intelligence quotient. Emotional Intelligence is that part of the personality that deals with making people aware and bringing them in control of their emotions and then channel them in a way that they are able to handle the interpersonal relations more empathetically, ultimately helping you get over and not fret over little things.  

    The solution? Coursera course on Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence. The course teaches you about hope, compassion, and mindfulness that helps in combating stress and build better relationships in the workplace.

      3. If your skills are making you hide in the crowd, upgrade your job skills at Udemy.

      No matter what job profile you are in, there is one given thing – the amount of skill set that you have to do Job A will always be inversely proportional with the skills that the job requires to ultimately help reach the organization’s goal.

      And the moment a new member who has an advanced skill set as compared to you joins your team, or the moment your boss realizes that the skill set it would take to head the job towards better profitability is one that you are missing as of now, it would affect your confidence and ultimately your communication skill.

      Another way to look at this lack of skill set issue is that in the absence of one, you will have nothing to talk about to your management team in your next tete-a-tete.

      So, what should you do? You should upgrade your skill set. There are websites like Udemy that will help you upgrade your job skill to another level.

        4. If email and Skype etiquettes are killing your confidence, use these online tools.

        If being an expert communicator is Mt. Everest, becoming a good orator is base camp one and perfecting your written communication skill is another mountain to climb altogether.

        When we talk about communication in a workplace, the instances where your oral communication skills are tested would be a lot less than the instances where you will have to write proper, concise emails or messages through the official communication mode.

        Even though it might sound a lot less important than perfecting your oral communication skills, wait till you write long unexplanatory subject lines or even worse, 3 words’ mystery subject lines in the assumption that the receiver will be enticed into opening your mail – Both being major blunders.

        So what should be done?

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        No website can teach you to write. But there are websites that can teach you how to write better and error proof.

        Here’s a list of tools to help you with that – 7 Online Tools that Improve Your Business Writing

        5. If giving PowerPoint presentations in meetings is stressing you out, sign up for Udemy’s presentation course.

        A time comes in every employee’s corporate life when they are made to stand at the center point of a room and deliver a presentation to their in-house team or their clients. If it still hasn’t happened to you yet, give it time. It will.

        It is not uncommon for worst case scenarios to run over your mind before the very minute you are going to take center position and deliver the presentation. There are so many things that can go wrong – you might fumble, you might pronounce something wrong, someone might ask you a question you have no answer of, or the audience might yawn because the presentation was that boring.

        The possibility of things going wrong are numerous. But the fact remains that with the right amount of practice, you might not face any of the presentation delivery challenges.

        In a busy office day, it is common for people to get the feeling that they don’t have enough time to accomplish everything they want and deliver a mesmerizing powerpoint presentation.

        Udemy’s course titled – PowerPoint Presentations: Deliver a Non-Boring Presentation, is just for the busy office goers. The course offers practical steps for the presenters to draft, memorize, and deliver PowerPoint presentations that don’t bore the audiences.

        6. When you have an angry customer on phone and you are going speechless, try Lynda’s course about dealing with customers.

        Everyone of you who have been in sales or is a Doctor or a Lawyer basically anyone who has ever dealt with an angry/unhappy customer whose issues have not been addressed, would relate to this.

        There are so many unfavorable situations that can come up when you are in a business where you are made to deal with a client or vendor or with someone who can have an impact on your business while not being present in-house.

        The situation leading to disagreement or frustrations can either be your doing or it might result from something purely circumstantial. Either of which way it emerges, the end result of both – Angry Customer – is something that you have to deal with, tactfully.

        You will have to prepare yourself in a way that you don’t end up saying or acting in a certain way to make the customer even angrier.

        While following a proactive approach and role playing the different situations that can emerge can help you greatly, there is a course, being offered by Lynda.com that can help you with preparing for the situation more easily.

        Lynda.com, a sister concern of LinkedIn has come up with a Course on Dealing with Difficult Customers, to help you get some perspective into what can be done in situations like these.

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          7. When you are avoiding situations and letting the conflicts foster, try Communicaid.

          Whether you are working as part of a diverse team or whether everyone in your team share the similar skillset as you, conflicts are bound to emerge.

          No matter how much we as part of a team, try to ignore the situations there will be times where disagreements between two people or within a team would rise to a level that it converts into a conflict.

          There is one thing to be clear of when it comes to conflicts – they will happen, no matter how badly you try to prevent them. What is in your control is to manage them in a way that they don’t get out of hand and affect productivity.

          Here’s a course on Managing Conflict by Communicaid, which will come in handy the next time you are finding yourself staring at a conflict.

            8. If you face difficulty with cracking deals in your favor, try Impact Factory’s course.

            In your career, there will be a number of instances where you will have to reach at an agreement with people that favors you. The discussion can be between your in-house teams or with your vendors or even your clients at times.

            The ideal scenario where both you and the other person in the picture get the best out of the deal is generally rare. More often than not, you both will mutually have to come to a point where you are able to arrive at a position whether none of you are compromising.

            Arriving at a situation where you get your fair share while the person in front of you is not at loss too with just your words is a lot more difficult than what it reads in the books.

            Practicing good negotiation skill is the one capability that comes in handy on not just the professional front but also in your everyday life. Once you master the negotiation centric communication, you will find yourself conversing with a lot more confidence in the office space.

            To help you in this department, enroll in the Negotiation Course by Impact Factory. The course structure is designed to teach the necessary skills that would prepare you to negotiate in a way that is best suited for achieving your goal.

            9. If you have difficulty holding a productive meeting, try Udemy’s productive meetings course.

            Holding meetings is an art. Not everyone can organize a meeting and then get the team to respond the way they want to.

            There are a number of factors that affect the outcome of a meeting – the time and place of the meeting, the agenda, the participants, etc. And as someone who is handling the meeting, even a single ounce of disinterest is enough to shake the confidence and bring an increase in the probability of making a mistake on the communication front.

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            What helps in a situation like this is a course that would teach you the exact steps that guarantees happening of a productive meeting.

            A course that would help you with exactly this is Udemy’s Meeting Management: How to Lead & Master Productive MeetingsThe course is structured around giving you insights into how to transform a boring meeting into a productive one.

              10. If what you are communicating through your body posture is not in sync with your words, take Alison’s communication course.

              Any talk on communication will be incomplete without a mention of non-verbal communication or your body language. The saying that action speaks louder than words holds true on so many fronts, especially in a competitive environment like an office space.

              There’s a lot that people perceive about you and what you perceive about people from the way they sit, stand, smile, shake hands, and even look at you.

              While on one hand you shouldn’t be overly friendly to allow people to not take you seriously, you shouldn’t keep a firm tone as well so that you come across as a stubborn, my way or the highway colleague.

              A number of times, we fall prey to the classic ‘this is not what I meant’ swirl and more often than not is the doing of how our body acts when we are having a dialogue – something that when not checked can affect the interpersonal relationships in a way that you cannot even imagine.

              The solution of this lack of syncness between what you say and what your body language portrays is something that needs to be corrected as early in your career as possible.

              There are a number of courses related to perfecting the nonverbal communication skills available on the internet, the one that is performing well in terms of best result is Alison.com course on Communication Skills – Perception and Nonverbal Communication.

              The bottom line

              Have a look at the course structure and see if it is aligned with what you are hoping to achieve.

              When it comes to bettering your communication skills, never put your concentrated focus on learning how to speak a language more fluently, instead learn how to tackle different situations. It is your preparation to tackle different situations that will give you the confidence when the time comes and better your communication automatically.

              When it comes to situations where you need to showcase your communication skills, chances are they won’t be restricted to these ten, there will a lot more. But, as you are starting on this journey of being a good communicator, these ten situations are the perfect starting points for you to get confidence and ultimately become a better communicator

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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              Tripti Rai

              Tripti works in a mobile app development agency and shares about work and productivity tips related to technology.

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              Published on April 7, 2021

              6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

              6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

              Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

              While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

              1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

              Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

              If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

              In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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              2. They Make Everything Transactional

              Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

              For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

              Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

              A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

              Some statements to be wary of include:

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              • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
              • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
              • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
              • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

              3. They Criticize Everything

              One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

              However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

              Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

              • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
              • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
              • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
              • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

              4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

              We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

              For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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              This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

              5. They Socially Isolate You

              Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

              Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

              This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

              In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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              6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

              It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

              Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

              Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

              • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
              • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
              • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
              • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

              Final Thoughts

              It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

              More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

              Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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