One thing I’ve always wanted to work on is becoming more articulate. I often struggle with expressing myself. Effective communication is a skill that some individuals pick up as a child, but for those of us who aren’t so lucky can either learn now, or battle to be understood and to understand what others really mean.
With everyone “joining the conversation”, through the numerous social media outlets today, more than ever, we see a need for better personal interaction in business and life. Here are some tips I have found helpful:
Be self-confident – The more self-worth you have, the more confident you will be. Also understand that your worth never changes – don’t be afraid of rejection.
Be sincerely interested in other people – listening is a huge part of effective communication. Here are a few ways you can connect with someone:
- Ask open-ended questions that they would be interested in answering. It makes people feel good to talk about themselves.
- Compliment them. Make it specific to have a genuine compliment.
- Ask them their name and REMEMBER IT! I am horrible with this, but there is no excuse.
- Smile and make eye contact.
- Show your sense of humor.
Broaden your horizons – Peruse the latest in sports, television, news, local hobbies, etc. It will give you more to talk about, and opportunities to meet new people.
Be aware of perceptions – It is a good idea to manage the impressions others have of you. There may be a difference in what you are trying to say and how your audience perceives it. Paying attention to your appearance and body language can help you control your message.
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion – Express your thoughts, ideas, and feelings openly.
Be more assertive – Stop using self-depreciating phrases like “I’m just following orders”, and drop the just. By practicing non-defensive communication, you create a positive and productive environment to communicate in.
Good communication skills are fundamental to all relationships and your success in your career.