Even for engineers, communication is a crucial skill to have. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers ranked verbal communication as the most important skill for prospective talent to have. You may already know this and your company or firm may already be emphasizing its importance, but that doesn’t mean challenges don’t arise from time to time.
Read on to learn more about three common communication barriers CAD professionals encounter and how to overcome them.
1. Industry Jargon
As you surely know by now, there are plenty of terms and phrases specific to the engineering industry, otherwise known as jargon.
On one hand, jargon can be a good thing. It shows your knowledge and aptitude for the industry, and you can clearly communicate to your peers about complex topics. But, on the other hand, there are plenty of other audiences that simply may not have a clue what you’re talking about.
For audiences that don’t have an engineering background (think: clients or customers, company stakeholders, or internal departments such as human resources), it’s important to minimize the jargon to get your point across.
The fix? When in doubt, leave it out.
Use complex terms and jargon only when needed, and proactively explain terminology if your audience is having trouble understanding.
2. Physical Barriers
In today’s workplace, it’s not always poor communication techniques that result in a disconnect. Physical barriers—like remote workers and varying offices—can create communication challenges among engineers.
Not being able to see or pick up on non-verbal cues, facial expressions, body language, tone or gestures can have a negative impact on overall communication. These factors often help make communication more effective and help strengthen relationships.
Unfortunately, physical barriers can’t always be removed. To fix this problem, consider connecting with remote workers or coworkers in a different office via video chat or web conferencing system. Tools like Skype, WebEx or Slack are easy to use and install, and encourage direct communication with video or phone conferencing.
Related Read: 3 Easy Tips to Make Your Virtual Teams More Productive
3. Language Barriers
If you’re dealing with a physical barrier with coworkers in a different office than you, chances are you may also be encountering a language barrier, too. Many businesses have international offices, which can create challenges when trying to communicate to a coworker or client in a different language.
While it can be difficult to understand different accents and dialects, it’s important for engineers to be patient and respectful. To help with the difficulty, consider a translation service or interpreter, or visual methods of communication. Some translation services include:
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