The ability to communicate clearly is essential in your professional and personal life. Without clear communication, misunderstandings occur. Improving your communication skills will help you succeed on the job and in the community. According to Incorp, “Employees can experience increased morale, productivity, and commitment if they can communicate up and down a company’s communication chain.” Are you currently comfortable communicating with those in all positions in your company?
Tips For Better Communication
If you want to get ahead in life, then use the 10 tips below to improve your communication skills.
Keep It Simple
Whether you are communicating verbally or in writing the key is to keep what you are trying to communicate plain, simple, and easy to understand. Don’t overwhelm your audience with fancy language or technical jargon unless you are giving an academic talk and it is totally necessary.
Creating notes will help you plan what you want to say. You’ll be able to ensure that you include all the points you want to make and that you eliminate anything that is totally unnecessary. When giving a speech your notes will keep you on point throughout the talk and avoid you going blank in the middle of your message.
Surprisingly, being an engaged listener is an important communication skill. It ensures that the speaker knows that you are both listening and interested in what they are saying. Many of us have difficulty focusing on listening. We often are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next. Listening will help you to give an informed response as you will be able to demonstrate that you have listened and understood what was said.
Your body can say things without you ever saying a word. In fact, It can be saying the exact opposite of your words! If you want to ensure that you are giving the right impression and message, then you need to make sure that you stand upright with your head high and shoulders back. Don’t cross your arms as this will put a block between you and the person you are talking to. Pay attention to your body language.
Confidence is a state of mind and it is something that you can create. There are many ways you can increase your self-confidence. Consider using affirmations and visualization on a daily basis or use hypnosis, coaching, or neuro-linguistic programming. Finding ways to become more confident will help in all areas of your life.
If you find yourself struggling to communicate effectively during social situations, you can use the FORD technique to help you get a meaningful conversation started. FORD stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. Talk to them about each of these items and you will appear to be a great conversationalist and others will want to talk with you. Using this technique, you’ll no longer have to feel tongue-tied when you meet strangers.
Use Eye Contact
Using eye contact correctly can really improve your communication. Your audience will feel a greater connection with you and listen more intently. Holding attention is a key skill of a great communicator. Remember to be natural and not to stare as that will have a negative impact.
Before you start talking or reply, take a breath and pause. This gives you time to think about how you want to respond, calm your emotions and manage your tone of voice. By using a pause, you can make sure that you respond in the way you mean to, instead of saying the wrong thing.
This will show that you are listening to the other person and that you are paying close attention to what they are saying. You will also increase the sense of rapport between you. By asking questions you ensure that you understand what is said and can respond appropriately. If necessary, don’t be afraid to repeat back what the speaker has said to increase your understanding.
“Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say”
That old saying contains very sage advice. By ensuring that you follow it you will avoid misunderstandings and your message will be relayed with clarity. Of course, you’ll find on occasion that you need to be assertive and prepared to stick to your guns. However, the upside is you will gain the other person’s respect if you are honest and tactful.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.