Communication is key to creating strong relationships, both professional and personal. Often, much is lost in the middle when you don’t learn how to communicate successfully. Sometimes a simple misunderstanding can swiftly result in disaster, but effective communication skills are easy to master if you remember the main steps:
1. Body Language
The way your body speaks is often more influential than the words you use. By using open body language, you will engage your listener. It is important that your body language suits the atmosphere and you react appropriately to the situation. For example, if you are speaking about something important, slouching would not portray your seriousness and thus your listener may not comprehend the significance of what you are saying. It is also imperative to keep eye contact and be mindful of the tone and quality of your voice.
2. Be Clear and Concise
By being clear and concise, you will hold your listener’s attention for longer. It is important to be transparent in your communication to avoid confusion and misinterpretation. Stay clear of using long and indistinct words – keeping it short and simple is the best way to communicate.
3. Actively Listen
It is vital to actively listen. When communicating, we must ‘listen to understand’ rather than ‘listen to respond.’ Active listening can be difficult, especially when you want to interject and voice your opinions; however, it is important to wait until the speaker has finished before responding. It is helpful to answer with open ended follow-up questions as this shows that you are hearing and understanding the person.
4. Confidence and Conviction
Confidence is significant in communication. By being confident, you will earn the respect of your listener, and as a result, they will be more involved in the conversation. It is helpful to avoid using filler words such as ‘um’ and ‘ah.’ In order to communicate successfully, you must also have conviction in what you are saying – don’t be swayed! Make sure you get your message across and your listener appreciates what you are saying.
5. Know Your Audience
Lastly, it is important to know who you are communicating with, as this will help you find the right way to convey a message. By knowing your audience and understanding their needs, you will be able to communicate in a sincere and successful way as it will help you to plan your communication effectively to avoid misunderstandings.
By combining all the above, you will be able to participate in successful communication and avoid any misinterpretation mishaps in the future!