7 SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication Skills (2022)

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Communication is one of those interpersonal skills that you may not think you need much help with.

You may think, “Communication is easy, I can relay a message to another person!”

But communication is so much more than being able to shoot someone an email.

The methods we use to communicate with each other is continuously changing. While Zoom may have been familiar to only a small portion of the business population two years ago, it’s now an everyday method of communication that employees from businesses worldwide have become very familiar with.

The truth is that we now have a growing variety of choices when it comes to modes of communication. And a lot of the methods that we once used to communicate are becoming less relevant as time goes on, and communication barriers that we once faced (like physical distance) is no longer an issue.

So it’s no wonder that having good communication skills has continuously ranked as the #1 most sought-after skill by employers. And it’s not as easy to come by as you may think. Being a good communicator means that you’re a skilled listener, you can interpret non-verbal communication, you can pick up on other people’s emotions, and you know the right questions to ask when you’re having a conversation.

If you can do all of these things in addition to delivering messages in a clear and concise way, there’s a good chance you know how to get what you want, overcome obstacles, make friends, build rapport with colleagues, and gain respect from others.

But, being able to do all of those things, and being able to do them well, is a tall order.

Engaging in proper communication is a complex task due to the complicated nature of human thought processes. (Learn more about the elements of communication here.)

It can be difficult to formulate your thoughts into words, and even more challenging to voice your message in a way that will be interpreted by your audience the way you intend it to be. Your statements may be misunderstood–or worse, you could be caught using faulty logic, which could open you up to criticism.

Think back to a time when you’ve felt misunderstood. Maybe you got accused of giving someone a “look” that you were oblivious to, or someone took your quick response to something you wrote in a hurry as being rude. Think not only of the trouble that could have been avoided with more clear communication, but also the feelings that could have been spared and the time that could have been saved from others who dwelled on these momentary lapses of proper communication.

Think of the consequences that could result, should one of these misunderstandings lay the foundation for a potential employer’s first impression of you. Or, what if it’s a first date who misinterprets your message? Poor communication can have a strong negative influence on your life’s journey, which could be easily avoided if you were to be more intentional about your interpersonal interactions.

And having good business communication skills isn’t just important for your professional wellbeing– it’s also an important factor whenever you’re a part of a team. Research consistently shows that communication plays a vital role in the success of teams and maintaining a positive team dynamic.

But, whether you’re unintentionally misleading–or even offending–the person you’re talking to, ineffective communication can lead to unnecessary conflict, low company morale, and missed opportunities.

(Video) SMART Goals Quick Overview with 21 SMART Goals Examples

So in this article, we are going to look at seven SMART goals that you can use to help improve your communication skills. Even if you think you’re a pretty good communicator, it’s worth it to set some goals in this area because this is a skill that will continue to look different as technology continues to evolve.

But first, let’s define SMART goals more clearly so you can recognize the value in this goal-setting strategy.

What You Will Learn

  • What Is a SMART Goal?
  • 7 SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication Skills
  • Final Thoughts on SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication

What Is a SMART Goal?

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When your goals meet all of these criteria, it’s nearly impossible to fail. Setting your goals according to the SMART goal framework ensures that you have a solid plan in place for achieving your objectives.

Let’s break down each component of a SMART goal.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific- The statement is narrow and it answers the questions who, what, when, where and why.
  • Measurable- You can clearly define how you will know you’re making progress along the way or at what point you’ve reached your goal.
  • Achievable- It is reasonable to accomplish your goal by the deadline that you’ve set. It is not so far out of reach that it is impossible to achieve.
  • Relevant- Your goal aligns with your long-term plans and your values.
  • Time-bound– SMART goals are limited by a set deadline, which will keep you motivated and ensure you prioritize reaching your goal.

These elements work together to create clear goals that are trackable and within your ability and skill set to achieve. If you haven’t been successful with meeting your goals in the past, they were probably poorly-written, making them impossible to manage. However, when you’re using the SMART goal structure, your goals will start with a solid foundation that sets you up for success.

Let’s take a look at some examples of SMART goals that you could use if you’re trying to improve your communication skills. Depending on the goal and where you are on your journey to better communication, you can change around the numbers a bit to suit your needs.

7 SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication Skills

1. “Over the next six weeks, I will balance the communication dynamic on my team by encouraging quieter team members to speak up and reminding more talkative members that we want to hear from everyone. I will do this by giving verbal reminders throughout all team meetings.”

S: This statement sets forth exactly what this person plans on doing in order to balance the communication dynamic among his team members.

M: Each meeting over the next six weeks counts as one step toward meeting this goal.

(Video) SMART Goals - Quick Overview

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This goal is relevant for any leader who wants to ensure the success of their team.

T: This goal-setter will practice this goal for six weeks.

2. “For the next week, I’ll do a mental head-to-toe body language check whenever I have a conversation that lasts over one minute to increase my self-awareness of my non-verbal communication.”

S: This SMART goal states this person’s plan to improve their self-awareness of their non-verbal communication so they can actively work to improve it.

M: Each conversation that lasts over one minute over the next seven days counts as one unit of measurement.

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This is a relevant goal for those who want to improve their non-verbal communication.

T: This goal will be completed in seven days.

S: This goal articulates this person’s plan to keep an open mind when talking to people who have opinions that differ from the goal setter’s.

M: Each conversation that this person has over the next four weeks with someone he disagrees with will count as one unit.

A: This is an achievable goal, especially for those who have a lot of conversations on polarizing topics.

R: This is a relevant goal for people who want to expand their mindset and foster a culture of open-mindedness and respect.

T: This goal will be complete in four weeks.

4. “Over the next two months, I will initiate at least one conversation per week with a stranger to increase my confidence when talking to people from different backgrounds.”

(Video) Celeste Headlee: 10 ways to have a better conversation | TED

S: This goal describes this person’s plan to increase their confidence when talking to people who come from a different background.

M: This person must initiate at least one conversation per week over the next two months, so eight conversations overall.

A: This is an achievable goal for those who want to be inclusive of diverse perspectives.

R: This is a relevant goal for people who are in the beginning stages of their communication-improvement plan.

T: This goal will be complete in two months.

5. “In order to reduce barriers to proper communication, I will improve my planning prior to communicating by considering the goals, needs, and attitudes of my audience, in addition to how others will be impacted by my message. I will do this intentionally prior to sending any written communication until June 1st.”

S: This person’s goal is to reduce the breakdown of communication by intentionally planning and thinking through all written communication until June 1st.

M: Each written form of communication between now and June 1st is one unit of measurement.

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This is a relevant goal for those who want to minimize barriers to proper communication.

T: This goal will be complete by June 1st.

6. “By the end of the week, I will make my office more conducive to being a good listener by removing distractions, setting a chair up for people to speak with me at eye-level, and posting a “come in” sign on my door.”

S: This person’s goal is to actively work on their listening skills by creating an environment that is conducive to doing so.

M: This person has three tasks to complete by the end of the week.

(Video) 7 ways to Improve your Communication Skills in English

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This is a relevant goal for anyone who wants to focus on the receiving part of their communication skills.

T: This goal will be complete by Friday afternoon.

7. “I will spend 10 minutes focusing on a plan for following through prior to making any promises for the rest of the month. When my actions contradict my promises, others will discount my words, so I will carefully consider the impact of my commitments before I make them and I will alter my message accordingly before sending it.”

S: This person will spend time analyzing the potential impact of their messages before they’re relayed in order to ensure they can follow through on their words with appropriate action.

M: This person will do this for 10 minutes before making any promises for the rest of the month.

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This is a relevant goal for those who want their verbal communication to be trusted.

T: This goal will be complete by the end of the month.

Final Thoughts on SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication

It would be hard to claim that there is nothing more someone could learn to improve their communication skills. For most people, improving communication skills will be a lifelong, ongoing process. You (and everyone around you) will continue to make mistakes and learn from the situations that result.

Investing your time in improving your communication skills is sure to pay off in the end. Try one or two of these SMART goals in your own life and see what you can notice and learn just in the short time it takes to complete a goal listed in this article. Chances are, once you finish one, you will be eager to start on another.

If you work as an administrative assistant and want to improve your communication skills, check out this post.

Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

7 SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication Skills (2)

Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.

(Video) SMART Goals to Improve Your English Learning

7 SMART Goals Examples for Improving Your Communication Skills (4)

FAQs

What is a SMART goal for improving communication skills? ›

SMART goal example: I would like to improve my eye contact with the audience by not relying on the slides. I want to practice my speech five times before the deadline of *speech date* so I can memorise it and be more engaged. S - Be a more engaging public speaker by making eye contact with a member of the audience.

What are 7 ways to improve communication skills unique tips? ›

7 Tips to Improve Verbal Communication Skills
  1. Think before you speak. ...
  2. Be clear and concise. ...
  3. Speak with confidence. ...
  4. Vary your vocal tone. ...
  5. Be an active listener. ...
  6. Be aware of non-verbal communication cues. ...
  7. Think about the perspective of your audience.
10 Mar 2020

What are some examples of communication goals? ›

Effective Communication Goal Examples
  • Create clear communication with no ambiguity. ...
  • Improve the communication response rate. ...
  • Establish and improve relationships. ...
  • Diversify communication delivery. ...
  • Share your purpose. ...
  • Create positive change with reinforcement. ...
  • Use storytelling to be more relatable.

How can I improve my communication skills? ›

There are specific things to do that can improve your communication skills:
  1. Listen, listen, and listen. ...
  2. Who you are talking to matters. ...
  3. Body language matters. ...
  4. Check your message before you hit send. ...
  5. Be brief, yet specific. ...
  6. Write things down. ...
  7. Sometimes it's better to pick up the phone. ...
  8. Think before you speak.

How can I improve my communication skills at work? ›

6 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work
  1. Learn How to Listen. Most people underestimate the role of nonverbal communication, or body language. ...
  2. Perk Up Your Presentations. ...
  3. Master Talking on the Telephone. ...
  4. Write More Effective Emails. ...
  5. Collaborate Well with Remote Teams. ...
  6. Don't Neglect Critical Software Skills.
5 Jun 2019

What are 7 ways to communicate? ›

7 Effective Communication Habits of the Most Successful People
  • Be concise and clear. ...
  • Be thoughtful and considerate. ...
  • Be attentive and observant. ...
  • Be understanding and curious. ...
  • Be present and available. ...
  • Be calm and collected. ...
  • Be positive and optimistic.

How can I improve my communication skills in a week? ›

4 Things to Practice daily to Improve Communication Skills - YouTube

How can I improve my communication skills with my friends? ›

Communication Strategies for Family and Friends
  1. Maintain eye contact. ...
  2. Get their attention. ...
  3. State the topic. ...
  4. Speak slowly and clearly. ...
  5. Be mindful of your setting. ...
  6. Ask the right questions. ...
  7. Rephrase when they don't hear you.

What are the 5 smart goals examples? ›

5. SMART goal example for increasing sales
  • Specific: I will learn new sales techniques to increase sales at work.
  • Measurable: My goal is to double my sales in four months.
  • Attainable: I've been a sales associate for two years now. ...
  • Relevant: I want to feel more confident at my job and learn new skills.
5 Aug 2022

What are the 4 goals of communication? ›

Goals of Business Communication
  • Receiver understanding.
  • Receiver response.
  • Favorable relationship.
  • Organizational goodwill.

What are the 3 goals of communication? ›

There are generally three types of communication goals:
  • Reputation management goals, which deal with the identity and perception of the organization. ...
  • Relationship management goals, which focus on how the organization connects with its stakeholders. ...
  • Task management goals, which are concerned with achieving tasks.

How do you write goals for yourself? ›

First consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take to realize your goal, and cross off each one as you work through them.

What are 12 ways to improve communication skills? ›

12 Ways You Can Improve Your Communication Skills
  1. Listen well and avoid interrupting. ...
  2. Practice paraphrasing. ...
  3. Be Mindful of minor details in the content. ...
  4. Note the quality of your voice, tone and pitch. ...
  5. Always use accurate words to express context. ...
  6. Practice completeness and clarity in message delivery.
10 Jan 2017

What are 5 good communication skills? ›

5 ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
  • WRITTEN COMMUNICATION. Convey ideas and information through the use of written language.
  • ORAL COMMUNICATION. Convey ideas and information through the use of spoken language.
  • NON-VERBAL AND VISUAL COMMUNICATION. ...
  • ACTIVE LISTENING. ...
  • CONTEXTUAL COMMUNICATION.

What is 7 C's of effective communication? ›

The seven C's of communication are a list of principles for written and spoken communications to ensure that they are effective. The seven C's are: clarity, correctness, conciseness, courtesy, concreteness, consideration and completeness.

How would you describe your communication skills? ›

Here's a sample answer: “Through my work experience and education, I have developed strong communication skills, and I'm able to clearly convey points to different audiences. I'm also a good listener which aids in my ability to intimately understand a situation and prepare an appropriate response.

Why do you want to improve your communication skills? ›

Effective communication makes you a more productive worker and cuts down on unintended consequences that arise as a result of miscommunication. Developing an effective communication process helps you understand what others are saying and makes you a better collaborator and team member.

How would you describe good effective communication? ›

Effective communication is the process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions, knowledge, and data so that the message is received and understood with clarity and purpose. When we communicate effectively, both the sender and receiver feel satisfied.

What are 10 good communication skills? ›

Top 11 Communication Skills for Any Job
  • #1. Written And Oral Communication. Verbal communication is using words to convey information and it includes both written and oral communication. ...
  • #2. Presentation. ...
  • #3. Active Listening. ...
  • #4. Nonverbal Communication. ...
  • #5. Feedback. ...
  • #6. Respect. ...
  • #7. Confidence. ...
  • #8. Clarity.

What are the 7 strategies for communication that will promote conversation within an intimate relationship? ›

Effective Communication Skills and Strategies
  • Be Mindful. Always stay in the moment (good or bad) while examining your actions, thoughts, and words toward your partner.
  • Practice Active Listening. ...
  • Speak Clearly and with Clarity. ...
  • Seek Understanding. ...
  • Use “I” Statements. ...
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions. ...
  • Validate Feelings.

What are 6 characteristics of a good communicator? ›

Here's a list of qualities that successful communicators often have:
  • Good listener. Communication usually requires two or more parties to be active in the conversation. ...
  • Concise. ...
  • Empathetic. ...
  • Confident. ...
  • Friendly. ...
  • Observant. ...
  • Appreciative. ...
  • Polite.

How do you communicate concisely? ›

How to speak more concisely
  1. Plan what you want to say. One of the best ways to ensure you speak concisely is to plan what you would like to say before you start speaking. ...
  2. Be mindful of over-explaining. ...
  3. Try to refrain from using filler words. ...
  4. Use a specific example. ...
  5. Consider your audience. ...
  6. Record yourself speaking.
25 Aug 2021

Which is the best example of a SMART goal? ›

Good example of a SMART goal:

“I want to write a work book on “How to add 10 years to your life” that is at least 150 pages in length and get it completed by June 30th 2009. I will write at least 4 pages every weekday until I complete the book.”

What is the best answer for what is your goal? ›

The 4 most common ones being:
  • Goals focused on professional advancement. ...
  • Goals focused on leadership advancement. ...
  • Goals focused on educational advancement. ...
  • Goals focused on personal development. ...
  • Be relevant to the company. ...
  • Start with short-term goals and then move to long-term ones. ...
  • Back your goals with an action plan.

What are the goals of a communication plan? ›

An effective communication plan helps your team to:
  • Clarify your goals and objectives. ...
  • Articulate the relationships between audiences, messages, channels, activities, and materials. ...
  • Identify and implement a variety of communications activities. ...
  • Clarify staff member and stakeholder roles.

Is not one of the 7 C's of communication? ›

Co-ordination in work is not one of the seven C's of effective communication. The seven C's of communication involves: clarity, completeness, conciseness, concreteness, courtesy, correctness and consider. these seven C's of communication is of utmost necessary to facilitate an effective communication process.

What are smart objectives in communication? ›

Your objectives should be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Well-defined objectives will guide your strategy, tactics, themes and messages.

What are the 5 smart goals examples? ›

5. SMART goal example for increasing sales
  • Specific: I will learn new sales techniques to increase sales at work.
  • Measurable: My goal is to double my sales in four months.
  • Attainable: I've been a sales associate for two years now. ...
  • Relevant: I want to feel more confident at my job and learn new skills.
5 Aug 2022

What are the 3 goals of communication? ›

There are generally three types of communication goals:
  • Reputation management goals, which deal with the identity and perception of the organization. ...
  • Relationship management goals, which focus on how the organization connects with its stakeholders. ...
  • Task management goals, which are concerned with achieving tasks.

What are the 4 goals of communication? ›

Goals of Business Communication
  • Receiver understanding.
  • Receiver response.
  • Favorable relationship.
  • Organizational goodwill.

How do you set goals in a communication plan? ›

Read on, get equipped with some hands-on knowledge, and start applying these tactics right away!
  1. Define the goal. ...
  2. Set specific and measurable actions to achieve the goal. ...
  3. Communicate the goal clearly and openly. ...
  4. Predict possible challenges ahead. ...
  5. Inform all parties involved. ...
  6. Adjust the message. ...
  7. Ensure understanding.

Which is the best example of a SMART goal? ›

Good example of a SMART goal:

“I want to write a work book on “How to add 10 years to your life” that is at least 150 pages in length and get it completed by June 30th 2009. I will write at least 4 pages every weekday until I complete the book.”

What are 5 good communication skills? ›

5 ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
  • WRITTEN COMMUNICATION. Convey ideas and information through the use of written language.
  • ORAL COMMUNICATION. Convey ideas and information through the use of spoken language.
  • NON-VERBAL AND VISUAL COMMUNICATION. ...
  • ACTIVE LISTENING. ...
  • CONTEXTUAL COMMUNICATION.

Is not one of the 7 C's of communication? ›

Co-ordination in work is not one of the seven C's of effective communication. The seven C's of communication involves: clarity, completeness, conciseness, concreteness, courtesy, correctness and consider. these seven C's of communication is of utmost necessary to facilitate an effective communication process.

Videos

1. How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu
(TEDx Talks)
2. Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques
(Stanford Graduate School of Business)
3. How to Speak
(MIT OpenCourseWare)
4. Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr
(TED)
5. How to improve your communication skill ? (ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ)
(IIMS Institutes)
6. How to improve your communication skills for interviews
(WiseUp Communications)

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