Communication is a must have soft skill for every software tester. Good communication skills & interpersonal skills are crucial when you work with multiple stakeholders like development teams, product owners & clients. QA professionals can bank on strong communication skills to present their analysis more convincingly. Here are some tips for software testers to improve their communication skills:
1) Be a good listener
Understanding the message & the information given to you by stakeholders is as important as giving your final response. It is important to have good listening & reading skills to understand the project specifications & create structured test cases. Your body language & tone of voice can make it easy or difficult for team members to communicate with you. If a concept is confusing, ask for examples to get a precise understanding of the problem. When in doubt, always ask. Get clarity on the idea being presented. Encourage your stake holders to give more information about any aspect that you want to understand better.
2) Invest in presentation skills
Apart from good writing skills, it is important to invest in good presentation skills to present your ideas more effectively. By presenting your findings and ideas in a logical & clear way, you can add more value to the meetings & discussions you have with programmers & decision makers. Be open to disagreements. While presenting your case to developers & business stakeholders, be open to queries & disagreements. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and concerns.
3) Keep your communication simple & clear
Always keep your communication to the point, clear and simple. Avoid using ambiguous or confusing language that can make it difficult for your audience to understand the key message. Keep your test reports and plans simple and easy to read & comprehend. Develop a common shared language/tags within the team to make it easier to record, recognise and fix bugs.
4) Provide proof
Always present your findings & analysis in concise & logical manner, supported by facts. There are a variety of media tools like Screen capture that can be used for recording your findings.
5) Share information on time
To get all the key stakeholders on the same page, share crucial test information on time to the teams. Make it easy for the key stake holders to access critical testing information. As far as possible respond to E-mails on the same day.
It is easy for a software project to progress faster, when QA & development teams communicate well. When there is good communication, it is easier to get everyone working towards the same goal & deliver high quality software.
Do you have any more tips to add for improving soft skills? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.