7 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
Effective communication is one of the most important skills in life. They help with your personal and professional life. Sometimes effective communication is the difference between landing that big job and being rejected at first sight. There are various aspects to communicating well and we usually ignore enhancing our communication skills. Having the right communication skills can help us get our point across with ease and get things done in a better way. Here are some essential tips to communicate effectively.
1. Correct Your Body Language
Keeping your arms closed or not looking up while talking to a person are non-verbal ways of saying we are not interested. While we may not intend to put this across, our body language may state otherwise. Making eye contact and being aware of the signs your body is giving is something that we need to consciously start doing. One of the best ways to prepare your body for better communication is to learn how to read other’s body language effectively so that we may learn from it.
2. Throw Out Fillers
Fillers such as ‘Um’ or ‘Ah’ do little to add value to the conversation. Overusing these fillers may make you sound extremely nervous as well. Cut out fillers in your everyday conversations so that you may come across as a lot more confident. Try a simple technique of relaxing and pausing before you construct a sentence.
3. Take Away Distractions
One of the major hindrances to effective communication is external distractions. It may be a car passing by or even a pretty woman. Keeping the television on while speaking is also bound to distract you. The most annoying distraction is checking your phone while speaking to someone. Make efforts to look up to give undivided attention. Another form of distraction is internal mental distractions. This could be anything from stress at work or planning what to cook the next day. Clear your mind of all thoughts and distractions when you are part of a conversation.
4. Prepare A Script
Always have a script, mental or written, for small talks. This can help you keep the conversation flowing without the space for any awkward pauses. You can easily turn small talks into interesting conversations by keeping your replies ready and initiating new topics to converse. Avoiding silent gaps in conversations can help kill the boredom. The last thing you need on a date with a pretty lady is awkward silence and the woman wondering how she can escape this boring conversation.
5. Be Specific And Brief
In today’s world, everyone is always in a hurry. Keeping conversations brief and to the point will help with effective communication. This is the best policy when it comes to verbal or written communication. Keeping the matter BRIEF is a big plus to effective communication.
6. Use Empathy
Communication is always a two-way process. If you want to communicate effectively, you need to understand from the other person’s perspective and take away any anxiety that may be part of the conversation. One of the best examples – knowing that your wife / husband are just too tired to talk. Developing empathy skills helps you understand unspoken words and will help you respond effectively as well.
Not many people understand the difference between listening and hearing. If you are not able to know the difference, you will never be able to understand or respond effectively. You need to pay attention to what the other person is saying and listening without interrupting. Listening is an integral part of effective communication and be the difference between a healthy conversation and a one way conversation. Also remember, if you listen attentively and give the opposite person the respect, they will do the same in return too.