How Does Communication Impact Your Success at Work & School?

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Calling home to reconnect with family can help keep you happy and focused at school.
Calling home to reconnect with family can help keep you happy and focused at school. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Effective communication is a major life skill that helps you articulate ideas, receive feedback and generate discussions for problem solving or pleasure. For many adults, school and work represent large components of daily life; to succeed in these institutions, you’ll need strong communication skills. Communication impacts your success at work and school by fostering productive interaction with other people. Unskilled or unpleasant communication can negatively impact your ability to progress in these areas.

Peers

Communication certainly impacts success at work and school when it comes to peers – at work, coworkers and at school, classmates. In the workplace, successful communicators rely on productive conversations to ascertain deadlines, brainstorm for product improvement ideas and take responsibility for specific tasks with coworkers. At school, students with strong communication skills attend effective study groups, receive mentoring instruction and clarify misunderstood concepts with classmates. In both school and work, students and employees use communication to build rapport, friendship or professional camaraderie. Individuals who feel supported and happy in their academic or professional environment may feel more motivated to succeed with the help of friends and colleagues.

Superiors

Communication is a crucial tool for interacting with superior individuals in the workplace or at school -- for example, employers, managers, professors, financial aid directors and graduate student assistants. Employees and students use communication to receive instructions and information from managers and professors. They also use communication to ask questions, clarify instructions, request specialized rules -- for example, asking permission to turn in an essay or spreadsheet late because of a major illness or death in the family -- or otherwise provide feedback to higher-ups.

Networking

Students and employees want to network to increase social, academic and professional connections in order to progress individual goals. Communication can help broaden your reach by building contacts with individuals relevant to your school or workplace. Emails, phone calls, private conversations and traditional letters can help you arrange internships, receive grant money for research, be invited to speak at a trade conference or shadow a company leader for the day. Having a multi-layered resume containing extras, such as internships, volunteer stints, trainings and speaking engagements adds to your credentials, increasing the chances of success.

Outside World

You might be operating within a work or school environment, but most people also have connections with the outside world that provide helpful emotional sustenance. Friends and family members may not interact with you within the workplace or at school, but communication can help you build a bridge with loved ones that they better understand the challenges you face in those places. For example, communicating to a spouse that you’re on deadline for a key project at work can help build empathy or understanding if you seem tired or uninvolved at home for a few consecutive nights. Phoning parents while enrolled in school to get caught up on family news can help buoy your spirits so that you’re focused enough to successfully complete assignments and other school-related tasks.

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