IT’S ALL IN THE COMMUNICATION
Communication is an important tool in improving relationships, achieving goals and developing social skills.
Below are 18 tips to improve your communication skills and help you:
- Express your thoughts effectively
- Achieve your Objectives
- Build Leadership techniques
- Connect & Relate with loved ones
- Stimulate Engaging conversation
Know Who You Are
The first step in communicating is being self-aware. Self-reflection and understanding provides the foundation of reciprocal relating. This will bring originality to the conversation, encourage fluidity, and maintain sincerity.
Be honest in what you know and don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out more on what you don’t. Be true to your beliefs and who you are while being open to other people’s perspectives.
Know the Other
Take time to recognise who you are talking with.
This is particularly important in a work environment and in situations where you there is an objective you would like to achieve.
Knowing who you are talking with fosters control through being aware of possible clashes as well as similarities which could benefit you.
It also allows a deeper connection to be made in showing an interest and taking the time to learn about them.
Know What You Want
If you have an objective behind your communication be clear in what this is and hold it in mind.
Allow for it to be present yet not dominating, be subtle in its delivery.
Don’t Assume the Other Knows What You’re Thinking
Tell a story as if the person knows nothing, start at the beginning. Ensure important details are voiced.
Be clear and precise to ensure your meaning is understood.
Talk With The Person, Not To Them
A conversation is the exchange of dialogues between parties. If your objective is too dominating then the communication will be lost and it will be received as selling or preaching.
Try not to let emotions run high because you feel you are not achieving your goal or if the conversation becomes conflictual. This will lead you to react rather than respond.
Take deep breaths. Remember your objective rather than try to change the other person’s mind. There will always be the need to accept difference.
Listening to the other is crucial and should take up the majority of the time, why:
- it allows you to get to know the other person;
- it allows you to measure whether your message and meaning are being heard and understood;
- it guides you to whether or not you need to readapt your communication or clarify further;
- it allows you to learn and develop;
- it allows for engagement and connection between parties encouraging one to feel respected, understood and listened to.
If a point is complex or you are trying to explain to a child/young person then pause to see if they understand and clarify further if not.
Once you have taken time to listen to the other person, assess whether you need to adapt how you are relaying your message and reconfigure as needs be. This might be by breaking the point down, asking questions or using different wording.
Make Personal Links
Bring people into the conversation by making a link to something about them and their experiences. If you don’t know the person well ask questions. This builds report and stimulates trust.
Bring yourself into the conversation by making a link to your experiences and understandings.
This encourages reciprocal trust and forms a foundation for a bond to develop.
Try not to use too much colloquial language and omit the unnecessary additions “do you know what I mean”, “like”, “so”. This will help clarify your meaning and maintain fluidity.
Be Clear & Specific
This is especially the case if you require something out of the engagement. If an action is required then make this clear with specific instructions.
Try not to over complicate what you are trying to express. Keep your sentences short and simple.
Don’t be afraid to go into more detail. As long as you stay on topic and remain specific this will prevent misunderstanding.
Match your communication with your body language, hand gestures and facial expressions to further convey your meaning. Try not to use too big movements at fast pace.
Observe whether you are mirroring the other person’s body language. This will tell you whether you are aligned and connected in your engagement with them.
Voice Tone & Volume
Adjust the tone of your voice to add colour and emphasis to your message rather than increase the volume.
Connect with the other by making regular eye contact without staring.
If speaking with children, come down to their level to speak with them.
Respect Individual Boundaries
Observe the space between you and the other person; have they moved closer to you, do they lean or take a step back from you? This will give you an idea of their personal boundaries. Respect these boundaries to ensure they feel comfortable and thus open to converse.
If you would like to work on your communication skills get in touch for a online session firstname.lastname@example.org