2013-10 - 12 Ways to Become a More Effective Communicator
12 Ways to Become a
More Effective Communicator
12 Ways to Become a More
When working in any environment with various personalities and people, the ability to communicate eectively becomes more and more important. Not only that but when in business, you are communicating with others all the time in sales meetings, in your marketing or in your team meetings. Eective and clear communication is one of the most fundamental building blocks to creating a great business.
So how is your communication? We could all do with improving it; I have never met anyone who is the perfect communicator. They probably dont even exist. However, we can always do things to help ourselves get our messages across much more eectively.
So we have put together a list of 12 dierent things you could work on to improve that all-important communication.
1. Listen up
When you think of communication most of us would instinctively think of how we can make what we say clearer. Well the interesting thing is the best way to do that is make sure you listen to whomever you are trying to communicate with. This will allow you to get a greater understanding of their view which will allow you to explain your thoughts with much more clarity and within the view they understand. So listen up more and understand peoples points of view. People receive information through their own perspective without understanding it, you are seriously at a disadvantage when communicating.
2. Drop your expectations
One thing that we are all guilty of when trying to communicate with others is that we go into it having expectations. This is a natural thing; we build expectations of how things will go based on previous experiences and learnings. The problem with this is that you then apply things to a new situation that are not really applicable there just because it reminds you of another experience. Take each experience and interaction on its own merits you will learn so much more.
3. Look for the hidden meaning
When we listen to what a person is saying we can often see that what they mean is actually quite dierent to the words they are saying. For example if someone says I am no good at that this may mean that they are low on condence and need your encouragement not necessarily that they are not good at the task itself. Try and look for the underlying feeling or meaning.
4. Respect the other
Many of us suer from the problem of not valuing another persons opinion and not giving it the respect it deserves. This acts as a very destructive tool when trying to communicate. Allow time to listen to what others have to say who knows you may just learn something you didnt know; you dont know everything after all.
5. Maintain eye contact
There is nothing more shifty or disconcerting than when you are in a discussion in with someone and they avoid looking at you. Looking someone in the eye and maintaining it is so important to building rapport with someone. It shows a level of trust and honesty, which makes what you are saying, have much more validity.
6. Question, question, question
One of the fundamental problems in any business is telling people how they should work, act or think. This serves no purpose other than to devalue that persons contribution. Through questioning an individual you show you value them and it also builds in a capacity within that individual to think for themselves. This will improve their creativity, problem solving and sense of worth.
7. Mirror the persons behavior
One of the key ways to improve your communication with someone else is to build a rapport with them. Create a relationship of trust and openness. A proven way to eectively build this rapport is through mirroring their body language. When they cross their legs you cross yours or when they face a certain way you face that way too. This may sound a little far fetched however it is a proven technique for building an eective relationship with someone. Obviously keep it subtle though or else you may just look like you are mocking them.
8. Be genuine
When we discuss something or communicate something you can often pick up on someone who is not being genuine. This instantly leads to a level of distrust that makes communication dicult. I am sure you may have experienced this feeling yourself. Be genuine in what you say and it will build honesty in what you say, which draws people to you.
9. Always be positive rst
This is the one thing that seems most dicult for people to do in my experience. It is a wonder what you can tell people if before you outline the negative you praise them, thank them or just tell them what they are good at. If you ensure you start whatever you say with something along these lines it really opens someone up to criticism or negative feedback. Not only does this help them take whatever you are about to say, it helps them learn from it and you to get your point across easier.
10. Ask for clarication
One of the things that I see in oce environments more and more is people mishearing someone else and thereby completely misinterpreting what they mean. I am sure we are all guilty of this at some point in our lives. One way around this is to try and ask for clarication around what someone has said to you. Just say as I heard it, you are saying am I correct? This gives the other person the opportunity to clarify.
As I said in the introduction there isnt anyone in the world that couldnt do with improving some part of his or her communication. The only way to grow and learn is to make sure you get feedback on how your communication is seen by others. You can then use this to amend and improve your skills.
12. Accept it is not about you
The greatest communicators, those that you remember, fully accept it is not about them. When in a networking session or just chatting with your team take an interest in them, ask them questions and enquire about what they say. These are the people that are remembered and these are the people who are liked, followed and people love working for.
So there it is a list of 12 ways you can improve your communication. I hope you take a shot at a few and see how they work out for you. There is no one who doesnt need to work on his or her communication. So go try out a few things and see where it gets you.