Simply talking does not make us good communicators, just like hearing someone speak does not make us good listeners. In fact, to be a good communicator means being a good listener too. Using these skills to send across the right message is important in professional and personal relationships. Failure to communicate effectively is a lid on your potential and the potential of your business.
Sounds kind of obvious but to be a good communicator you must have something useful and valuable to say. Have you ever had someone explain something to you and they left you feeling confused? Don’t be that person - think carefully about what the person you are talking to needs to know and give logical reasons to support your opinion or suggestion.
As mentioned at the beginning, communication is a two-way street, to be a good communicator you must be a good listener too. When listening you need to grasp the feeling behind the words being spoken so that you can respond with something useful and valuable to the individual. While listening, put all your focus on the person speaking, show your interest, and as tempting as it can be, try to avoid cutting them off when a new thought pops into your head.
High pressure situations can lead to poor communication. Whether it’s a disagreement that leads to you getting angry, or you have a presentation to deliver but you hate public speaking and clam up, it isa skill to keep your communication skills intact and remain calm. Be mindful of the situation you are in or are about to enter, and remember how important it is to stay calm to keep your communication skills intact.
Asking questions helps you gain a deeper understanding of the situation and to clarify any misunderstandings. If you are not sure what the someone is saying, repeat your interpretation, and ask if you got it right. Remember asking questions is a good thing, it shows the person you are talking to that you are engaged in the conversation and are interested in hearing what they have to say.
When you communicate in a confident tone people will feel engaged and more importantly, they feel that they can approach you. This is absolutely essential in business to build colleague and client relationships. If this is an area that you struggle with consider asking your manager to be your mentor and to give you more speaking opportunities at work.
Body language can be a subtle form of communication and it is important to think about how you portray yourself as well reading the body language of those around you. There is nothing more off-putting when having a conversation or giving a presentation and the recipients seem completely disengaged. You know the signs - arms folded, no eye contact, and heaven forbid evening yawning. Make an effort to practice eye contact, smiling and maintaining open body language, this will make it so much easier for colleagues and clients to engage with you.
Effective communication is a skill that some people are naturally blessed with and others have to work at.Remember that nothing great comes without practice, you will only improve by putting yourself out there. Pushing yourself in to new areas, whether this be professionally or personally with most certainly help to expand your communication skills.
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