5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
There are numerous tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. Not to overwhelm you with all the details, let us focus on the things that will provide the most significant return on your time investment.
Below are some tips to help improve your communication skills.
1. LISTEN MORE
There is a reason everyone has two ears and one mouth. Your two ears are a clear indication that listening is a significant part of communication. Full communication requires that you listen to the person you are having a conversation with and waiting for the person to finish speaking before responding.
Don’t be that individual who just jumps into people’s conversation when they have not even finished their sentence. It hinders you from learning and being an effective communicator.
People who can listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make an effort to listen actively, then you are doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.
Listen to someone entirely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost
2 BE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Knowing your audience is another critical component to improving your communication skills. The way you interact with your boss at work should be different than how you interact with your family at home. This does not necessarily mean you should have different personalities.
Here is an excellent way to think about it:
Imagine using the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.
Understanding your audience puts you in an excellent position to pass your information across effectively.
3. FEWER WORDS ARE BEST
Some individuals tend to overwhelm you with a lot of words when they speak. Effective communication does not necessarily need you to say so many things all at once. Less is always best. Try as much as possible to always go straight to the point. Don’t leave the listener confused.
The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone; it’s to provide clarity in many cases.
State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversations about life in general.
The point is not to create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.
4. DON’T OVER COMMUNICATE
This probably sounds counter-intuitive to what was said initially about using fewer words to speak, but it is not.
Overcommunicating, in this context, simply means ensuring that the other person understands the crucial parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively.
Imagine someone continually reminding you of the same thing almost every day, the person may not know he or she is overdoing it, but this is an example of over-communication.
Try your possible best not to overdo it when passing information across.
5. Body Language
Finally, you can improve your communication skills in general by working on your body language. Your body language says a lot about how comfortable you are with the person you are speaking to.
Your body language passes strong messages, unlike words. This is why it is effortless to talk without even saying a word
In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.
When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.
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