18 Aug What Skills Should I Develop?
Kamal S. provides some useful tips in developing the skills of effective communication.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.”
–Stephen R. Covey
Every day, we are communicating – be it via writing, speech or other means. However, are we doing this effectively? Communication is not just about exchanging information, but about the message behind it and the emotions. Putting aside the skill required in the use of words, it requires listening, stress management and understanding the sentiments and reactions of the person with whom you are communicating.
Top tips on effective communication:
- Establishing Trust
A key element in communicating well is to establish trust. When someone is apprehensive, you can reassure them that you are not a threat; being courteous and professional should win them over. It’s not always possible to avoid conflict but being honest and open can help tremendously.
- Clear and Concise
As humans, not only do we have short attention spans but misinterpretation can also cause concerns. An organized and efficient approach allows for clarity of thought. As simple as it sounds, practising speaking in front of a mirror can improve your use of the language and builds confidence.
- Body Language
Non-verbal communication can dominate spoken word. It can display dishonesty, nerves and confidence. Use an open posture – open hands and arms to show friendliness and interest. Evading eye contact can portray deceit and undermine the message being made. Eye focus communicates sincerity and credibility. Use a moderate tone of voice and keep speech slow and clear.
- Active Listening
This is a valuable technique which allows the listener to pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and confirm what has been said by paraphrasing. Focus and pay attention and allow for the speaker to conclude communication before interrupting, then reiterate the conveyed message by giving a short summary of what was said.
- Stress Management
When we are stressed, we can misread others, thus conveying confusing and sometimes disconcerting signals back. In these situations, taking a few deep breaths can help to calm. If necessary, find a quiet place to regain balance and eliminate stress.
Remember communication is a vital tool that if used effectively can make you successful not only professionally but personally too. A few simple strategies can go a long way to enhancing this skill.