How to Become an Excellent Communicator as a Tester – A 4-Step Process

Hello my dear readers, Hope you all are in pink of health and enjoying Testing! I am doing great too and excited to share some interesting things with you about effective communication skills and how to achieve it.

Consider the above sentences as the start of this article vs. the following:

The Topic of today’s discussion is “Effective Communication Skills” and how to achieve it.

Which one will create more interest in the readers? 

There you go. I know you have chosen the first option and that explains the need for better communication skills.

I will be sharing few thoughts/tips on communication skills today.

One of the requirements in the job ads that always grab my attention is “Must Have Excellent Communication Skills”. I have never seen a job profile that does not ask for it. All businesses need Effective Communicators.

Communication skills rank right after technical skills.

The simple three words “Excellent Communication Skills” carry a lot of questions, such as-

In this article, I will answer these questions with real life scenarios.

Let’s start with a few basic concepts:

What You Will Learn:

What is Communication?

What are different Types of Communication?

The following diagram says it all:

1) No-Verbal Communication: Non-Verbal communication is conveying information using non-word messages such as posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, etc.  It plays a significant role in conversations, meetings or even interviews.

However, this is not the topic of discussion for today’s article. So, we will move right along to the next category.

2) Written Communication: It is communication through written symbols. When the verbal and non-verbal modes don’t suffice we write things down. This way the information gets recorded as well and is more accurate and formal.

Writing skills are very important for Software Testers. We write several status/bug reports and many test artifacts to communicate with various teams – Formally and Informally.

3) Verbal or Spoken Communication: A way of communication through words (language) or sounds is verbal communication. The easiest way of expressing our thoughts, ideas and feelings are by talking. Hence, it is the simplest and most effective. This could also be formal (a face to face meeting at work OR a telephonic interview OR conference call) and informal (casual coffee room chat with a colleague).

In today’s article, I will be focusing more on Verbal communication.

Why do we need effective communication?

Communication is an art and every professional must learn it to be successful. It helps you maintain good relationships and expand your network.

Let’s take a quiz. Please answer the below questions with a YES or NO.

If your answers are mostly YES, it is time to work on your communication skills.

How to Become an Excellent Communicator?

Improving communication skills may be a hard task but it can definitely be achieved through continuous practice.

Here are a few suggestions. Remember it’s a journey and it is important to take few steps every day.

#1) Become a good Listener:

Communication is a two-way process. Listening is equally important as speaking. We must practice to listen and not merely hear things.

Real Life Scenario:

A tester is a key participant in a requirements discussion meeting. Make the most of it by following the below tips. The advantages are twofold. You get better at understanding the system and your participation will earn points with your manager and makes a good impression.

Tips to become an active listener –

#2) Become a confident Speaker:

Real Life Scenario:

Opportunities for a tester to participate in an engaging formal discussion or conversion are unlimited. Defect triage meetings, review sessions, etc happen pretty much every day. Ace them with the following tips.

Tips to become a confident Speaker

#3) Improve your Presentation Skills:

Real Life Scenario:

Once again, all the above-mentioned meetings can benefit from a good leadership and presentation.

Tips to Improve your Presentation Skills –

#4) Improve your Telephonic Conversations:

Real Life Scenario

Telephonic Interviews are as common as day and night for IT teams.

Tips to Improve your Telephonic Conversations:

In summary:

About the author:  This is a guest article by Renuka K. She is having 11+ years of Software testing experience.

Thanks for reading. Your valuable feedback is appreciated.  Happy Testing!