For those who work in a profession that requires regularly speaking on the radio, especially ones that can be high pressure like police officers or pilots, effective communication can literally make the difference between life and death.
However, even those who work in more relaxed settings or simply use radios as a hobby in their spare time can benefit from improving their radio communication skills. Many professions where the radio is essential often don’t come with extensive training on exactly how to use them and this can cause frustration and confusion on the job.
This article will highlight several methods to help improve radio communications as well as how you can integrate them so that the person on the other end understands exactly what you need them to.
8 Best Ways To Improve Radio Communication Skills
Better Communication, Better Results…
Communicating through radio can be a bit strange when it is new to us, especially because we have grown up in a world full of landlines and cell phones. However, radio maintains such widespread usage throughout the world because it is still one of the most reliable and quick forms of communication. For this reason, many professions require working with a radio to this day. Once you have mastered how to use it effectively, you will soon recognize how much easier it can make the task of communicating with your coworkers.
As with most tools, you will grow more confident and comfortable with your radio the more you use it over time. However, there are a whole bunch of ways that you can educate and prepare yourself so that you can avoid common beginner mistakes.
The following simple tips will help you to improve the way you communicate with others and help you to avoid the stress and frustration that so often come along with workplace relationships:
- Speak Clearly and Slowly
- Listen First, Speak Second
- Prepare Your Transmission
- Learn When To Expect Calls
- Keep the Mic Close To Your Mouth
- Learn Key Radio Language
- Know Your Hardware
- Only Use It When Necessary
1. Speak Clearly and Slowly: This is rule number one when it comes to talking through the radio. Even if you have never used a radio yourself, we have all seen a movie or TV show in which the police are in a chase and are familiar with what a radio transmission sounds like. Because the sound quality of a radio is not as good as a traditional phone, you must get yourself used to slowing down your speech and pronouncing your words as well as possible to make up for this lower quality.
2. Listen First, Speak Second: A radio is different from a phone in that you cannot hear the transmissions on your channel when you hold down the button to speak. Therefore, you should listen closely to make sure that the channel is clear before making your own transmission. This will prevent you from blocking out another person’s transmission or missing important information. It is especially important if you are in an urgent situation that requires all parties to receive the message that each is transmitting without interruption.
3. Prepare Your Transmission: This tip directly relates to the last one. Since a radio channel can only carry one transmission at a time, you want to take up as little time as possible. This way, the channel will be clear so that everyone has the opportunity to communicate the information they need to get across. Speaking slowly is essential for being clear, but getting your message across with as few words as possible also helps to maintain efficiency when working in a team.
4. Learn When To Expect Calls: This part comes with experience and is largely determined by the kind of work you are doing and the chemistry you build with your team of coworkers. But that does not mean that from the start, you shouldn’t be paying attention and training yourself to anticipate an incoming call. Knowing when to expect a call will make sure that you keep the channel clear and are ready to receive a message when it comes so the other person will not have to repeat themselves.
5. Keep the Mic Close To Your Mouth: The correct distance between your mouth and the radio microphone will mostly depend on the kind of radio you are using. Other people on the channel can help you by giving you feedback as to whether your transmission is too quiet and distant or too loud and muffled. But as a general rule, you want to keep your mouth close to the radio until you get used to the perfect distance for your particular style of radio.
6. Learn Key Radio Language: This part will also depend on which profession you work in as well as the dynamic of your team. Some professions like emergency workers or pilots have very specific codes that are the same throughout the field because understanding these transmissions immediately is so important to avoiding risk. However, there is a whole range of professions that use specific words and phrases and you should do your best to always use these terms whenever possible so everyone is clear about what you are trying to say.
7. Know Your Hardware: Your radio can be one of your best tools once you really learn all of its capabilities and how to use them properly. You don’t want to waste precious time on the job by trying to access a certain function or feature. Take the time beforehand to study your radio and take advantage of customization options that could make communication quicker and easier.
8. Only Use It When Necessary: This tip mainly applies to emergency responders and those working in high-risk, high-intensity situations. Not taking up radio frequency on the channel with unnecessary calls keeps it open so that those who may have more urgent messages can speak without being interrupted. However, one thing you should always remember is that in many cases, receiving information can be even more important than sending it. Keeping the channel clear and staying focused on incoming messages will prevent you from asking unnecessary questions and causing others to have to repeat themselves.
Clear and effective communication between team members is the key to any successful work environment, regardless of your profession. If you use a radio at your job then it is very likely that maintaining constant contact between people is essential to making sure everyone is working together toward the same shared goal. It’s difficult to imagine a situation or career that would not benefit from improving radio communication skills.
If you arrived at this article, you are probably either a person who already works with a radio or are preparing for a new job in which this skill set will be tested on a regular basis. By following these suggestions, you can now approach that task confidently and take advantage of this knowledge in order to inform your coworkers of how you can better work together to create a stress-free and collaborative work environment.
Over and Out of the Which of the following will help Improve Radio Communications?
Though it may take time for you to feel totally comfortable with radio technology, it always helps to have some guidance during that learning process so that you can be recognizing ways that you can improve along the way. The anxiety that comes along with learning a new skill or using an unfamiliar tool is usually born out of a lack of experience as well as knowledge. Our hope is that by providing you with these simple and straightforward tips, you can walk away feeling like you are ready to start improving your radio communication skills so that you can use them to their full potential.
Any Further Questions?
I am trying to learn about all of the features my radio offers and how to use them but the owner’s manual is very technical and confusing. Are there other options?
Of course! Many users find that the best way to learn about their radio is by watching reviews or tutorials on Youtube by other owners and radio enthusiasts. This way you can discover all about your radio from someone who is already familiar with it and can explain it to you in simpler, more direct terms.
What is the value of improving radio communication skills for someone who uses radio as a hobby instead of in their profession?
Many radio enthusiasts use long-range radios to connect with people who live far from them and may even reside in other countries. If you are communicating with someone who you have never met or who does not live near you, it may be more difficult to understand their speech patterns and accent. Thus, taking advantage of these suggestions can help you understand each other easier and increase your potential of connecting with people you may have otherwise not been able to.