We are at a point in our country where several offices are starting to open their doors back up to their employees. While you may be looking forward to the office, it’s also normal to have some hesitations and concerns, especially when it comes to your communications skills. If you find yourself excited but nervous, here are some tips to help you prepare to interact with an in-person office again.
Throw Yourself in the Ring
As uncomfortable as it may feel at times, the best way to acclimate to anything is to throw yourself right in. As you return to the office, seek opportunities to make small talk with coworkers in the break room and smile as you walk past them in the hallway. Another idea is to take the opportunity to share and interact with coworkers before, during, and after meetings. Digital meetings kept most of us on mute with hardly any face time before and after, so this is a great way to work on your people skills again. Those moments may seem minimal, but they compound over time, and what may feel forced at the beginning will eventually become second nature. Thankfully, an easy way to break the ice with your coworkers is to bond over the discomfort they are probably also feeling as they sharpen their communication skills.
Book Your Calendar
Another easy but probably more enjoyable way to work on your communication skills is to set up phone or coffee dates with friends you haven’t seen in a while. The first few minutes may be slightly uncomfortable, but as you both get warmed up, you’ll enjoy conversing and catching up. If you plan to catch up with one friend each week, it’ll challenge you to have conversations with people you’re not used to talking with daily and help you build that communication muscle back up.
Take a Training Course
If you’re finding yourself in a situation where you need to sharpen your communication skills—because it directly impacts your career—consider taking a training course. Here at Dale Carnegie, we offer several training courses—in-person or virtually—that will set you up for success in the short and long-term future.
Just remember that everyone starts somewhere when working on a skill. The majority of the country lacked digital communication skills at the beginning of 2020, but with time and plenty of experience, most people would now add that skill to their resume. The same will happen with in-person communication skills after enough experience.
“No matter what your line of work, even if it’s in one of the technical professions, your degree of success depends on your ability to interact effectively with other people.” –Dale Carnegie