How to Perfect Your Communication Skills
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Good effective communication is a basic requirement for any type of business whether it is body language, verbal or written. It is vitally important that we communicate well with each other. In the modern world the many distractions make it more difficult than ever to do this. To be effective, communication requires an emotional connection with the person or people with whom we communicate and that brings us to relationships.
Develop a relationship with the listener, and vice versa as a listener with the communicator. Often, we hear what is said but do not remember exactly what was said because we were not listening.
Not listening to what is being said indicates a lack of regard for the speaker, and disrespect too. Regardless of whether we respect the speaker or not, professional people listen attentively for the good of the company. Developing a good working relationship may take some effort but it is worth it for successful development in the workplace and between the various associates such as clients, recruiting agents and candidates.
Maintain eye contact while speaking and in a personal one on one, mention the other person by their name often. This helps to maintain that emotional connection encouraging the listener to pay attention. Make the communication a conversation, not a lecture and be prepared to answer questions and in turn, be a good listener when the other person shares their perspective.
The ability to focus and be in the moment is vital to overcome distraction. Learn the art of switching off and for many of us it starts with switching off the social media distraction. This is good practice for switching off our thoughts.
A good communicator is well read. Disciplined, planned reading improves social skills and develops an ability to relate to others. More importantly, reading improves self-awareness which is vital for communicating effectively, because to know who we are in relation to others is important if we are to be authentic in what we do or say.
It is common knowledge that reading broadens the mind allowing us to explore more than our limited world. More than geographical, we can explore other people’s ideas and cultures keeping us aware and informed. Nothing focuses the mind more and increases concentration like a good read, while also stimulating creativity, and social skills.
With self-awareness comes an ability to relate to ourselves and others, assisting us in improving our networking skills and public speaking, which can be required for professional presentations at work.
This automatically flows off self-awareness. A person who is self-aware cannot help but be aware of the world around them. Self-absorption is not conducive to development of the mind or creativity in the workplace. The interests of the company are promoted when we are attentive to what is going on in the workplace. Self-awareness improves the creativity required for promotion of the business.
Becoming company-aware allows us to detect challenges and solve potential problems before they happen and thus assist in solving issues. When reading stimulates self-awareness and then company awareness we become critical thinkers, who learn to weigh and consider before acting.
If you want to make a difference in your company and improve communications between all the players in the workplace, become more company-aware by reading and learning more about the business. It helps to remember that many historical changes happened because of discerning readers e.g. slaves were forbidden to read on pain of death or mutilation and there is a reason Hitler burned books. Knowledge is empowering.
It is important to keep up with new smart phone ways of communicating. Especially when it is written. If readers are history-makers and writers history-shapers, as suggested by a contributor in the “Worldwide’ bi-monthly magazine, then what we write can influence or shape the culture and brand of the business in which we operate.
Do keep a record of all written communication. Write with clarity and your presentation must be designed to keep the reader reading. Be as concise as possible without sacrificing relevance. Be as unambiguous as possible. When receiving a communication, a seasoned reader will better understand the nuance of a comment than a non-reader, avoiding confusion when the comment seems ambiguous.
When in doubt always query politely and when not in doubt, question anyway. When something is not clear the only way forward is to ask questions. Questions indicate interest and a willingness to learn. Guessing or assuming makes for misunderstanding with sometimes serious repercussions.