Effective communication skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life. People with good communication skills usually enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family. Effective communication is therefore a key interpersonal skill and learning how to improve your communication has many benefits. Good communication skills involve being able to convey information to people clearly and simply in a way that implies that things are understood and executed. The following are vital to improving communication skills:
Know who youre talking to - This includes everything from where theyre from to what their personality and emotional temperament are. This affects how you communicate with someone as much as anything, from the language you use to what kinds of stories you tell to communicate a point, so whatever you can garner before and during a conversation can go a long way to improving how effectively youre able to communicate your message.
Nonverbal communication: The majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but through physical cues. To communicate clearly and confidently, adopt proper posture. Avoid slouching, folding your arms or making yourself appear smaller than you are. Instead, fill up the space you are given, maintain eye contact and (if appropriate) move around the space. Nonverbal cues include your body language, eye contact, hand gestures and tone of voice. All of these colour the message you are trying to convey, a friendly tone and relaxed stance will encourage others to speak openly with you. Eye contact is also important as it shows you are concentrating and involved in the communication process. Also pay attention to the body language of the other person as it shows how they are receiving your message.
Clarity and Concision: Good communication means just saying enough - not too much and not too little. Express yourself clearly and directly, whether you are speaking to the person face to face, on the phone or via email.
Friendliness: It is important to be nice and polite in all your communication. This will encourage others to be open and honest with you.
Confidence: Exuding confidence will show that you believe in what you are saying and will follow through, it can be as simple as using a friendly but firm tone and making eye contact.
Emotional Awareness and Management - It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything should be logical, and that emotion has no place. However, we are human and therefore emotional. An awareness of emotions, both positive and negative, can definitely improve communication.
Listen, listen, and listen. People want to know that they are being heard. Really listen to what the other person is saying, instead of formulating your response. Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings. At that moment, the person speaking to you should be the most important person in your life
Think before you speak. Always pause before you speak, not saying the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it. This one habit will allow you to avoid embarrassments.
Say just enough to get your point across
Put away Distractions - Its pretty rude to use your phone while someone is talking to you. Avoid all distractions during communication and give the other person your undivided attention.
Ask questions and repeat the other person - Asking questions and repeating the other persons last few words shows youre interested in what they say, keeps you on your toes and helps clarify points that could be misunderstood.
Communicating effectively is a teachable skill, therefore following a few of the tips outlined above, will enable you to hone up on your communication skills.